Asia Pacific prime residential market could struggle against other regions

Government cooling measures in Singapore and Hong Kong are a major factor as to why the prime market will take a hit in 2013.

Asia-Pacific prime property markets are unlikely to outperform the other regions of the world in 2013 as government policies dent demand for residential homes, according to Knight Frank predictions.

Nicholas Holt, Knight Frank’s research director for the region, said government interventions, aimed at mitigating the risk of asset bubbles and addressing concerns of affordability are taking a toll.

“These cooling measures have dented demand for prime residential product in some markets, through limiting financing, introducing extra taxes for foreign buyers and penalties for disposing of the property within a certain time period,” Holt explained.

Many of these measures have targeted the high-end residential market. For example, loan-to-value ratios in Hong Kong are limited to 50 percent for properties over HKD10 million (US$1.3 million). These measures have also been introduced to penalise multiple homeowners at the expense of first time buyers, which disproportionally impacts the prime residential markets.

“At the same time that the market has become more difficult for some buyers, the attraction of prime property markets outside their domestic markets has continued to provide incentives to move their money abroad,” said Holt. “With an increasingly mobile, educated and well travelled class of property owners in the Asian region, the lifestyle choice of having a second home abroad, for personal or for children’s educational use is proving to be one of the key narratives for HNW Asian buyers.”

Holt said that with the ongoing global west-east shift in the economic balance of power, there is no doubt that the prospects in the medium term for prime residential markets in the region are promising.

“Our forecasts show however, that given the protectionist measures introduced over the last 12 months in the Asian safe haven and lifestyle destinations of Singapore and Hong Kong, we expect fairly subdued price performances in these markets through 2013,” Holt said.

Filed Under: Asia (General)NewsNews by Country


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