How to burn $4.6 mil­lion in 10 days in Hong Kong hous­ing mar­ket

Business World - - Property & Infrastructure -

A MYS­TERY buyer has for­feited a HK$36 mil­lion ($4.6 mil­lion) de­posit af­ter walk­ing away from plans to buy a home in Hong Kong’s most pres­ti­gious neigh­bor­hood.

The sale fell through just 10 days af­ter the uniden­ti­fied per­son agreed to buy the three-bed­room house with swim­ming pool and pri­vate gar­den in Mount Ni­chol­son on the Peak for HK$722 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to a gov­ern­ment doc­u­ment.

A house in the same de­vel­op­ment last year sold for al­most HK$1.4 bil­lion, mak­ing it Asia’s most-ex­pen­sive prop­erty on a per-square-foot ba­sis.

Since then, an al­most 15-year bull run that made Hong Kong in­fa­mous for hav­ing the world’s least af­ford­able prop­erty mar­ket has pe­tered out. Fall­out from the U.S.-China trade war, ris­ing bor­row­ing costs and a volatile stock mar­ket have weighed on home prices, which are down about 8 per­cent from their Au­gust peak.

The slump may worsen, with Cap­i­tal Eco­nom­ics fore­cast­ing home prices will fall about 30 per­cent over the next five years, in­clud­ing a 15 per­cent slump in 2019, ac­cord­ing to a note pub­lished Thurs­day. — Bloomberg

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