HONG KONG Unrest sees Residents look to AUSTRALIAN PROPERTY Safe Haven

HOW convenient that the Real Estate Gatekeepers were made EXEMPT from the Anti-Money Laundering Laws in October 2018?

-the second Tranche of the AML Legislation

ALLOWING for the passage of Black Money awash in Australian Real Estate … to continue … to persist …

FROM both those seeking high-end properties and the mass market

WHY would Hong Kongers prefer Taiwan with the offer of political asylum when they can gain Permanent Residency in Australia after buying our domestic housing?

IS this all part of the Xi Jinping expansion plan with the Hong Kong Government having so far ruled out imposing foreign exchange controls as Hongkongers move their assets offshore?

AND some further thoughts on this …

IT’s business as usual in Australia … just about anyone can buy Australian domestic housing.

Foreign ‘investors’ can buy just about what they like, with few exceptions, where they like, but how about starting from the beginning?

-Fly to Australia on a foreign carrier

-in Australia transfers are provided by foreign-owned transit company

-stay at a foreign owned hotel

-get picked up from the hotel by local, but foreign owned tourist agency and taken to various locations again by foreign owned transit company

-meet local real estate agents who specialise in foreign clients

-visit various housing developments put together by foreign companies, likely funded by foreign sources, often built by foreign builders including foreign labour and materials

-and should a sale be finalised all the foreign stakeholders are lined up to receive their share

GEE … we do well out of this sort of foreign investment!

SEARCH CAAN WEBSITE TO FIND OUT MORE!

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Hong Kong unrest sees residents look to Australian property safe haven

By business reporter Sue Lannin

22 OCTOBER 2019

Sydney Harbourside property

PHOTO: Hong Kong residents fleeing the unrest are targeting top-end Sydney property. (ABC NEWS: SUE LANNIN)

RELATED STORY: Hong Kong could see exodus of funds and people as China asserts its power

RELATED STORY: Rich migrants pay $5m to move to Australia. But is that a good deal?

RELATED STORY: Hong Kong was once optimistic about being part of China — what went wrong?

With no end to Hong Kong’s political crisis in sight, more people are looking to leave the Chinese territory.

Key points:

  • There has been a spike in interest for Australian property coming from Hong Kong in the past two months
  • Most enquiries are coming from professionals or expats interested in top-end $3m to $30m properties
  • Australia was the top destination for Hong Kong emigrants last year, with about 2,400 people moving here

There has been a surge in interest in Australian properties, with both wealthy elites and professionals preparing to emigrate amid the ongoing unrest.

Hong Kong wine seller Chau Fuk Yau is hoping to move to Adelaide with his young family on a business visa and plans to set up a company exporting Australian wines to Hong Kong.

Chau Fuk Yau smiles at the camera.

PHOTO: Hong Kong resident Chau Fuk Yau is hoping to move his young family to Adelaide. (Supplied)

Mr Chau, 32, said he was leaving partly because of the political situation but also because Hong Kong’s high cost of living and weak economy was taking a toll.

“I think for the education, for the environment, for children growing up, Australia is a good place compared to Hong Kong,” Mr Chau said.

Territory’s economy stalling

Last week, Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam said she expected the city’s economy to slip into a technical recession in the third quarter because of the months of protests.

The anti-extradition law protests have morphed into wider calls for more political freedom from China, but also fuelling the fire is the growing gap between rich and poor and the most unaffordable home prices in the world.

Hong Kong-based, Australian-registered migration agent John Hu told the ABC he had seen a big rise in inquiries and sales since the protests began in June, with many people looking to get business or investor visas for Australia.

“We have enjoyed a significant increase in monthly sales; our sales have gone up four times,” he said.

“For enquiries, we are reaching about 1,000 a month and they are asking for different countries and of course Australia is on the top of the list.”

Mr Hu said his firm was processing hundreds of skilled migration visas and business migration visas for Australia.

Spike in interest in Australian property

Australia was the top destination for Hong Kong people emigrating last year, with about one third of emigrants — about 2,400 people — coming here.

Managing director of Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty, Michael Pallier, said his company had seen a 500 per cent increase in enquiries from Hong Kong compared to last year.

He said the new buyers were Hong Kong people who also had Australian citizenship, permanent residency or who were millionaire investors.

“The last two months we’ve seen a large spike in interest from people who are from Hong Kong,” he said.

Before it was all mainland Chinese who were coming out. Now there are just as many enquiring from Hong Kong, and obviously with the instability a lot of people that are living in Hong Kong are thinking maybe long term it’s better to move to Australia.”

A house with a pool.

PHOTO: Much of the Hong Kong property interest is in the $3 million to $30 million price range. (ABC News: Sue Lannin)

He sells high-end properties ranging from $3 million to $30 million with a lot of clients in the finance industry who want to move to wealthy areas in Sydney with elite private schools.

“It’s not only Hong Kong Chinese, there are just as many expats that are contacting us,” Mr Pallier said.

“One has already bought a house from us for just over $10 million, moving back to Australia.”

REA Group said searches on its property website from Hong Kong for Australian property had increased by one third from the same time last year with Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide the most popular cities.

Focus on top end of the market

Crown Group sales director Prisca Edwards said enquiries from Hong Kong were up 300 per cent and sales had increased by up to 30 per cent for the firm’s luxury apartments.

Ms Edwards said a wide range of Hongkongers were looking for local homes.

Prisca Edwards smiles at the camera.

PHOTO: Crown Group sales director Prisca Edwards says sales of the firm’s luxury apartments to Hong Kong residents have jumped 30 per cent in recent months. (ABC News: Sue Lannin)

“Basically any mums or dads,” she said. “What we’ve seen is someone who has a link, maybe their children already studied here and went back to Hong Kong to work and came back just to see and look for property.”

“There are some young professionals who already have permanent residency, went back to Hong Kong and lived there … and now would like to buy in Sydney.”

*Georg Chmiel, chairman of Juwai, the biggest property website in the world for Chinese buyers, has seen the same trend, with interest in both high-end properties and the mass market.

“We have seen quite a notable increase in enquiries for Australian properties up by 50 per cent since the protests have started,” he said.

Mr Chmiel said the ongoing political unrest was hurting confidence in Hong Kong.

“What has happened is the confidence has been shaken in the market and if the protests continue that will in the longer term impact the confidence in the Hong Kong property market,” he said.

Members of the media run down a Hong Kong street after being hit by flames.

PHOTO: Ongoing political unrest and a slowing economy have many Hongkongers considering migration. (AP: Elson Li/HK01)

House prices unlikely to be affected

However he said the increased interest from the Chinese territory was unlikely to have much impact on Australian home prices because Hong Kong buyers only made up about 1.5 per cent of total enquiries and purchases.

With Australia’s strict immigration laws and restrictions on foreign investment in property, Hong Kong people are also looking closer to home.

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In a recent survey Taiwan outranked Australia as the number one destination for migration. Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has offered political asylum to Hong Kong people.EMBED: Most popular HK migration destinations

Ms Edward said Malaysia and Thailand had become more popular but the US, Canada, Singapore and Europe also remained sought after.

Australia is quite attractive because of the weather, because of the time zone, because it’s the closest Western country from Asia, but Hong Kong people have a lot of choices,” she said.

The Hong Kong Government has so far ruled out imposing foreign exchange controls as Hongkongers move their assets offshore.

Sydney Harbourside property

SOURCE: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-22/hong-kong-residents-buying-australian-property-unrest/11625860

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