Guangzhou eases home curbs for HK, Macau

Business | Tereza Cai 19 Dec 2019

Hong Kong and Macau residents are allowed to buy their first mainland home in Guangzhou by providing their ID cards and Home Return Permits, the mainland Guangzhou Daily reported after confirming it with Guangzhou Real Estate Registration Center.

The new rule, which came effect on Monday, means SAR residents can buy one unit in Guangzhou if they have no home in the mainland. The new policy replaces the previous requirement of offering certification that one is studying, working, and living in the mainland, further easing the threshold for buying a home in Guangzhou.

Last year, Guangzhou scrapped a rule requiring one year's working or living experience for foreigners, including Hong Kong residents.

Commentator Johnny Lau Yui-siu foresees similar policies to come, since the mainland wants to attract more capital from Hong Kong and Macau and keep the property market steady amid slowing economic growth.

Guangzhou Centaline Property's project general manager Huang Tao said Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan buyers only accounted for around 2 percent of Guangzhou's transaction volume.

The policy would help increase Hongkongers' property investments in the city, but only modestly, as most Hongkongers who live in Guangzhou long term have already bought properties there, Huang added.

Huang also believes that Guangzhou's property price is the second-highest in the Greater Bay Area, surpassed only by Shenzhen, meaning it is not the most suitable city for Hongkongers to spend their retirement. Huang said that people may consider buying properties in cities such as Zhongshan, Dongguan, and Huizhou, which have relatively low property prices.

Managing director of Guangzhou, China Midland Realty, Lin Boshan, said that the agency has seen inquiries from Hongkongers regarding Guangzhou properties rise by 40 percent last month when the restriction was eased. Since Monday was only the start date of the implementation, he said he did not see any significant response.

Mainland developer Greentown China (3900) purchased 35 percent of Shanghai Xinhu Real Estate at 3.6 billion yuan (HK$4 billion).

The targeted developer is engaged in Pearl City Project in Putuo District, Shanghai, which involves the development of residential and commercial buildings and basements.

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