Financial Secretary Paul Chan warns Hong Kong property buyers that the market is ‘irrationally stimulated’. The Monetary Authority, nudging interest rates up, advises that the cost of mortgages will be rising.
Let’s leave aside the case of the guy who paid HK$5 million for a parking space in Western. It was apparently some 40% bigger than a normal parking space. And he presumably needed one, and is sufficiently wealthy not to have to look at price tags for necessities – just as most of us would pick up one of Park N Shop’s new ‘noodle mugs’ if we needed a ‘noodle mug’, and not bother thinking much about the cost.
To put it in perspective, you could fit a Tesla into it. Which you can’t do with this 161-sq-ft apartment.
The noteworthy thing is the slightly-urgent tone of our officials advising citizens that loading up on debt to buy a tiny concrete box might not be a great idea just now. It takes a lot to get them to say that.
The Foreign Correspondents Club quiz last night had lots of history questions on the theme of the handover in 1997. In that spirit, here’s a couple more:
Q: Which Hong Kong official not long before the handover advised people not to buy into the property bubble, and was then attacked by those who held back and felt ‘left out’ when prices continued to balloon for a few months?
Q: Which Hong Kong official not long before the handover pointed out that housing had become unaffordable at least partly because the Chinese government had in preceding years (for reasons that were never clear) ordered the British to limit land sales – prompting the Chinese officials to go into a big Pissed Panda Tantrum Huff?
Clue: it’s the same person.