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Hong Kong shuts out outside real estate investors

11-25-2010 09:15 BJT

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Purchasing a home worth at least 6.5 million Hong Kong dollars used to grant the buyer instant residency in Hong Kong. But not anymore. The old policy was first adopted in 2003.

For many people, especially those from the mainland, the policy added the attraction of being a permanent resident in the special administrative region. But last month, an amendment to the policy removed real estate from the investment asset classes. That means, no one from outside the city can be granted admission to Hong Kong, by simply buying an expensive home. CCTV reporter Wang Mangmang finds out why authorities made the decision.

For years, Hong Kong has boasted some of the most expensive apartments in the world.

Many start at a price of 300 thousand HK dollars, or over 40 thousand US dollars per square meter.

But you don't need to worry about the market, its got plenty of buyers especially from the mainland.

Real Estate agent Zheng Li just sold one apartment to a buyer from Zhejiang province.

Zheng Li said, "The buyer is a businessman. He wants to apply for residency in Hong Kong. The apartment is worth 28 million HK dollars. "

Zheng Li said sometimes, up to four out of five customers come from the mainland. Ms Huang is one of them.

She was busy checking out different apartments, all worth over 10 million HK dollars.

There is only a little time left for her before the door leading to HK residency shuts to real estate investors.

For the past couple of years, one third of Hong Kong's real estate transactions involved mainland buyers. This has worried some government officials, who believe increasing mainland investors would result in more real estate bubbles.

Legislative councilor Leung Mei-fun is one of those sharing the belief. She is the first to suggest the removal of real estate from the investment asset classes, which could grant residency to the buyers.

Leung Mei-fun said, "Many mainland buyers leave us an impression of being extremely rich. It seems quite easy for them to buy a house here. Some Hong Kong residents also enter the market. As a result, the prices are pushed unreasonably high."

Some other officials emphasize that the amendment to the immigration policy is not aimed to drive away people. They say those who want Hong Kong residency could turn to other investment channels.

Editor:Zhang Ning |Source: CNTV.CN

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