Property transactions involve large amounts of money and most purchasers will need to apply for a mortgage loan. Whether the application is successful or not and the terms of the approved mortgage will be very important to purchasers.
Recently, a developer announced that two blocks of its first-hand residential development had to be torn down and rebuilt due to concrete defects, causing delay in possession of the properties by the buyers. Although this is only an individual incident and will probably not affect consumers’ confidence in new property developments in Hong Kong, it demonstrates the importance of property completion date as any delay in possession of the properties will inevitably affect some purchasers’ financial plans. Hence, I would like to remind prospective property buyers of first-hand residential properties that they should study all key information carefully before making any purchase decisions.
In addition to the “5A qualities” (Adherence, Ability, Accountability, Advancement and Affinity) that a professional estate agent should possess, the Estate Agents Authority (“EAA”) also promotes another important value to the estate agency trade, and that is giving back to their communities.
As estate agents play a very important role in property transactions which usually involve a large amount of money, they should keep abreast of the latest industry knowledge and developments and commit themselves to self-enhancement through life-long learning, so as to provide professional services to their clients.
The Law Society of Hong Kong (“Law Society”) has recently intervened into the practice of a solicitors’ firm Messrs. Wong, Fung & Co. (“Firm”), as it has reason to suspect that a former clerk of the Firm had dishonestly misappropriated money belonging to the Firm’s clients.
In recent years, there is an increasing number of advertisements in mass and social media on the sale of properties situated outside Hong Kong. In this regard, I would like to remind all potential consumers to pay extra attention to all related information of the property and not to solely rely on the promotional materials provided by the developer or estate agents, especially when they are considering purchasing an uncompleted property situated outside Hong Kong (“UPOH”).
When selecting a flat to rent, many people may only focus on the amount of rent, location and size of the flat, overlooking some other important details. In order for the public to understand these important details relating to renting of residential properties, the Estate Agents Authority (“EAA”) has organised a Facebook live seminar (in Cantonese) on the dos and don’ts regarding renting of residential properties to be held at 3pm on 26 September 2020. All are welcome to watch the live seminar through visiting www.facebook.com/MetroFinance at the abovementioned time.
The EAA’s Estate Agents Community Service Proposal Competition (“the Competition”) was completed and the result was announced in June 2020. The Competition received a positive response from the estate agency trade as the proposed community services will enable estate agents to give back to their local communities.
The pandemic of COVID-19 has dealt a serious blow to the economy of Hong Kong and its property transactions. An unstable market situation and the decline in the number of transactions have also led to fluctuation of property prices. Prospective buyers should note that banks may tighten their mortgage approval criteria and they may not be able to obtain sufficient mortgage loans to complete their purchase due to a shrink in their property valuation.
The outbreak of COVID-19 in the community has brought adverse impact to the Hong Kong society and economy in multiple aspects. The Hong Kong property market and the estate agency industry are inevitably affected.