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Property News Weekly Digest
〈Asian Post, July 11, 2020〉Tsim Sha Tsui has emerged as Hong Kong's most expensive retail neighbourhood for the first time in its history. Causeway Bay, which had held the accolade until now, has been hit harder by sluggish luxury goods sales.

Retail rents in Tsim Sha Tsui, home to Canton Road and its Hermes, Chanel and Gucci luxury boutiques, declined by about 17 per cent in the three months between April and June to an average of HK$1,018 per square foot a month, real estate consultancy Cushman & Wakefield said.

Rents in Causeway Bay dropped by 25 per cent to HK$969 per square foot a month over the same period.

Both Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay have borne the brunt of anti-government protests and the coronavirus pandemic. Mainland tourists, the mainstay of luxury goods sales in recent years, have stayed away because of violent protests last year, which were followed by travel restrictions and border closures this year.

〈Asian Post, July 11, 2020〉Britain has green-lighted Hong Kong-based CK Asset's Convoys Wharf, a mega residential and commercial project located by London's River Thames, according to reports.

Once completed, Convoys Wharf will provide up to 3,500 new homes, including 525 affordable units.

The site will provide 362,743 square feet of public open space and 166,840 sq ft of new business space, as well as primary schools, health-care facilities, shops, restaurants and cafes.

The development will link to the existing High Street and historic town center of Deptford.

The site is divided into 22 separate plots and will be developed in three phases. The Lewisham Council approved plans for Plot 15, Plot 08 and Plot 22 in the first phase last month.

Plot 15 is located south of the listed Olympia Building, north of the Deptford High Street Conservation Area and within the Evelyn Quarter.

Plot 15 consists of 124 affordable homes, the majority being rental homes - including two, three and four-bedroom homes with family play areas.

Plot 08 will provide 456 new homes, with space for up to 20 businesses, including cafes, restaurants and shops.

Plot 22 comprises over an acre of publicly accessible open space on the restored jetty on the Thames, including a flexible-use building and river bus pontoon to connect with the Thames Clipper network.

Convoys Wharf is now a brownfield site measuring 1.78 million sq ft.

The redevelopment of Convoys Wharf will create over 2,000 full-time jobs and 1,200 construction jobs, said Hutchison Property.

〈The Standard, July 10, 2020〉Beijing last week bypassed the territory’s Legislative Council to approve the legislation directly, heightening anxiety over its impact on the former British colony of 7.5 million people that is a global financial hub, and gateway for capital flows in and out of China.

Immigration lawyers and consultants, property agents and recruitment groups from Australia to Canada have told reporters that they were inundated with enquiries from Hong Kong residents.

"Hong Kong demand for international real estate and residency programs has rocketed over the past few weeks," Georg Chmiel, executive chairman of international property portal Juwai IQI, said in a statement. "We see it in Malaysia, Australia, the UK, Thailand, Canada, Vietnam and the Philippines."

Juwai does not disclose numbers of inquiries, but did say Australia was the top foreign real-estate investment location for Hong Kong buyers in the first half of this year.

〈The Standard, July 9, 2020〉Industrial site fetches record $5.6b
Data Zone Company has won the tender for an industrial site in Sha Tin for HK$5.6 billion, or HK$5,967 per buildable sq ft, a record for industrial land tenders.

Data Zone's director Gu Jian is also a director of China Mobile International, a subsidiary of state-owned telecom China Mobile (0941), according to the Companies Registry.

Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016) and CK Asset (1113) were among the eight other bidders.

Midland Surveyors previously valued the site at around HK$2.81 billion. The site covers a total of 98,791 sq ft and has a maximum gross floor area of 938,516 sq ft.

Meanwhile, MTR Corporation (0066) is seeking the green light from the Town Planning Board to raise the upper limit of the total number of residential units at Wong Chuk Hang Comprehensive Development Area by 300 to 5,200.

〈Macau Post, July 8, 2020〉Daniel Beitler Macau continues to perform poorly in terms of real estate transparency, according to a new report authored by real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), with the territory weighed down in particular by its sustainability score.

The Macau SAR ranked 58 in the 2020 Global Real Estate Transparency Index Rankings, showing only a minor improvement over last year. Overall, the local property market was deemed slightly less transparent than Saudi Arabia (57) and Vietnam (56), and slightly more transparent than Argentina (59) and Egypt (60).

Macau’s latest ranking in the report puts it well behind Hong Kong (15), Taiwan (23) and the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Beijing (32).

Analyzed by category, Macau scored highly in terms of "market fundamentals," "regulatory and legal matters" and "transaction processes." However, the city scored less well in the categories of "investment performance," "listed vehicles" and "sustainability."Last year, residential property transactions in Macau fell by 23.5% in year-on-year terms, while transaction values plunged 26.5%.