Thu, Sep 24, 2015 - Page 13 News List

Real estate attractive to Hong Kong buyers: firm

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

More Hong Kong residents are buying real estate in Taiwan due to geographical closeness and much greater affordability, Asia Pacific International Property (亞太國際地產) said yesterday.

The firm helped broker dozens of housing deals in Taoyuan’s Cingpu area (青埔) this year on behalf of clients from Hong Kong, compared with almost no transactions from Taiwanese buyers, Asia Pacific executive director David Chin (秦啟松) said.

Developers have placed more than 10,000 presale or newly completed houses in the area near Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on the market to take advantage of Taoyuan’s upgrade to a special municipality and improving infrastructure.

“Hong Kong residents show an affinity for homes near international airports due to cross-border travel convenience,” Chin said, adding that Taiwanese might consider the location second or third-tier.

Three-bedroom units priced between NT$8 million and NT$10 million (US$240,601 and US$300,751) are attractive to buyers from Hong Kong, especially since such a modest sum would not afford them a home in the territory.

In addition, immigration requirements are relatively friendly for Hong Kong residents compared with their Chinese counterparts, said Chin, whose company also specializes in helping local investors acquire real estate overseas.

Other than Hong Kong residents, foreign interest in real estate is low due to unfavorable tax policies, Chin said.

Such policies have driven local property funds abroad in recent years, but Chin warned against reckless moves.

Investors might have difficulty pulling funds out of markets with capital controls, Chin said, citing Cambodia as an example.

Currency volatility poses another downside risk, as evidenced by investors with exposure in Japan, Chin said, adding that the property market in Australia is the most transparent and accountable.

The firm plans to go public in three years and intends to trade its shares in the country with the lowest tax burdens, Chin said.

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