To improve the estate agent behaviours at sales sites, show flats of first-hand residential properties and their vicinities, the Estate Agents Authority (“EAA”) has reached an agreement with 32 developers and issued a Charter on the sale of first-hand residential properties (“the Charter”) last month. Participating developers pledged to provide consumers with a desirable sales environment and we have since seen much improvement in the estate agents’ conduct at the first-sale sites.
As the first-hand residential property market in Hong Kong has reached new heights in recent years, it is more than ever in the public spotlight. Therefore, I would like to remind prospective purchasers of some important points-to-note when appointing estate agents to purchase first-hand residential properties.
As a major international financial centre in Asia, Hong Kong attaches great importance to combatting money laundering and terrorist financing to safeguard the integrity of our financial system. An effective anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regime is hence in place and effort from everyone including estate agents, property purchasers and vendors is required for its implementation.
In recent years, there has been a rising trend of people in Hong Kong purchasing properties situated outside Hong Kong. Compared to purchasing properties in Hong Kong, purchasing properties outside Hong Kong is more complicated, as regulatory regimes and taxation systems differ from one place to another. News about the issues arising from Hong Kong people purchasing uncompleted properties situated outside Hong Kong (“UPOH”) has also attracted a lot of public attention, and the Estate Agents Authority (“EAA”) has received a number of related complaints.
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the enactment of the Estate Agents Ordinance and the establishment of the Estate Agents Authority (“EAA”), the EAA organised its first micro movie competition for post-secondary students in 2017. The competition was smoothly run, with results announced and awards presented during the EAA’s 20th Anniversary cocktail reception held last month.
Recently, there have been news reports on property transactions involving mortgagee sales, mentioning that the supply of mortgagee properties has increased. However, are mortgagee properties a real bargain? What devil’s details are there in these transactions that may be easily overlooked?
As the property investment market has heated up, in addition to traditional residential properties, more people have shifted their focus to non-residential properties in recent years…
In recent years, many people have chosen to rent instead of purchase a property. In order to rent their favourite units as soon as possible, prospective tenants may overlook some potential risks in their selection of properties. To strengthen the protection of consumers, I would like to remind prospective tenants of some important points to note in renting properties.
Due to the high number of non-local students coming to Hong Kong to study and the scarcity of hostel places at universities, some non-local students are unable to find accommodation in campuses and need to look for accommodation elsewhere. These young non-local students may not be familiar with the tenancy practice and also the services and duties of estate agents in Hong Kong, which might bring them difficulties in the process of renting a flat.
The EAA attaches great importance to enhancing the professional standard of estate agents and upholding the principle of equal opportunities in their practice. I therefore would like to remind both estate agents and landlords not to commit discriminatory acts when handling property transactions.