In the past five years, the Estate Agents Authority (“EAA”) has opened 119 complaint cases related to non-local properties. As there is an increasing number of Hong Kong investors purchasing non-local properties for different purposes, the EAA will keep on reminding consumers of the risks involved.
According to the EAA’s record, the total number of complaints related to non-local properties in 2021 sharply decreased from 66 cases to 21 cases when compared to 2020. In fact, most of the received complaints concerning non-local properties in 2021 were related to the conduct of developers instead of the conduct of estate agents. Some complaints were about developers failing to complete the construction according to the original schedule or provide the guaranteed rental returns.
Regarding the recommendations proposed by the Consumer Council last year, the EAA is discussing and studying with the government and the trade on the effectiveness and feasibility of the relevant suggestions. Meanwhile, we will continue to educate consumers on the possible risks of purchasing non-local properties, and remind them to give careful and thorough considerations before they make any decision to purchase.
I would like to remind consumers again to be sceptical about any claims or promises of investment returns from non-local properties, especially the uncompleted ones. In addition, consumers should note that even if the licensed estate agents have complied with all the EAA’s guidelines, there is no guarantee that non-local developers will complete the construction of the uncompleted projects; or honour the promise of investment returns or the terms of the sale and purchase. If such an unfortunate event happens, consumers would need to go after the non-local developers by themselves and seek their own legal advice.
In the past few years, the EAA has launched a number of educational and promotional campaigns such as producing videos, booklets and organising public seminars. All these useful materials are available in the designated webpage titled “Purchasing properties located outside Hong Kong” in this website. Consumers are strongly advised to visit the web page to learn more: http://outsideHK.eaa.org.hk
Chief Executive Officer
Estate Agents Authority