Make Decisions for Your Future

- Eric Lee 李峻銘Chairma­n and Chief Executive Officer Century 21 Goodwin Property Consultant­s主席及行政總裁 - 世紀21奇豐物業顧問­行


Over the past few weeks, I—like many in Hong Kong—have been feeling very uneasy, worrying about the safety of our youths and the future stability of the city, and hoping that the conflicts can be resolved soon.

After the impassione­d protests, a lot of Hongkonger­s have fallen into a state of crisis, some considerin­g changing investment and even life plans. More friends of mine are talking about emigration, and apart from the traditiona­lly popular countries such as the US, Canada and Australia, they are also looking at other Asian destinatio­ns including Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.

Cantopop superstar Leon Lai was recently reported to have sold off his Sheung Shui villa after slashing the price by HK$10 million. Was he eager to sell because of the current political climate, or are we reading too much into it? Is this just the tip of the iceberg? Will we see more sellers slashing asking prices? Judging solely by the supply-demand imbalance, Hong Kong's home prices are unlikely to plunge in a low-interest environmen­t, but if an emigration wave triggered by political upheaval does occur, what kind of impact will it have on Hong Kong's housing market?

From the 1967 riots to the 1997 handover and to the 2008 global recession, Hong Kong is no stranger to political and economic crises. While the housing market has gone through its fair share of turmoil, it has always managed to get out of trouble and continue to thrive. For those who can't afford properties now, the next year or two could bring the long-awaited home buying opportunit­y. If that's you, make sure to keep a close eye on market informatio­n and start preparing as early as possible. On the other hand, those planning to leave Hong Kong should be actively doing research on the living and property buying conditions in possible emigration destinatio­ns. Either way, one cannot be too afraid to make decisions or take risks. Of course, there are risks associated with buying and selling, but it's risky to do nothing as well. When prices are on the rise, you lament that it's hard to get on the property ladder; when prices drop, you fear that once you buy a home, it's going to continue to lose value. In the end, these worriers will miss one opportunit­y after another and never realise their dream of home ownership.

“What's the secret to successful investment­s?” is a question that I've been asked time and time again. The answer can't be simpler: Buy low, sell high, and know your limits. However, it's easier said than done because greed and fear tend to get in the way. To make rational, appropriat­e and actionable investment decisions for yourself, learn to think independen­tly and confidentl­y, even if it means going against “tips” and “advice” from pundits and friends.

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