Demand for Greater Bay Area homes set to rise with easier ownership rules for Hong Kong professional workers

By Sandy Li sandy.li@scmp.com / https://www.scmp.com/business/article/3037411/demand-greater-bay-area-homes-set-rise-easier-ownership-rules-hong-kong?utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=contentexchange&utm_source=EdgeProp | November 26, 2019 11:57 AM SGT
A proposal to ease home ownership and employment rules for Hong Kong residents in the Greater Bay Area may spur demand for properties in the region as more professional workers relocate from the overcrowded financial centre, according to consultants.
The government last week unveiled the proposal by Beijing to boost the integration between the city and nine bordering mainland cities in the Guangdong province. Among the 16 initiatives, China also allowed professionals from the insurance, construction and legal sectors to work in the area, a move that is likely to create an additional source of demand apart from retirees and holidaymakers, they said.
"It will encourage more professionals to relocate there once more job opportunities are created" in those three sectors, said Alva To, vice-president and head of consulting in Greater China at Cushman & Wakefield. "It will be a catalyst to property demand."
The Greater Bay Area represents China's push to link Hong Kong and Macau with nine Chinese cities in the Pearl River Delta, namely Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Zhongshan, Dongguan, Huizhou, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing, and turn them into a regional financial and business hub.
Some of the Chinese cities have placed ownership restrictions on Hong Kong residents, including requiring a certain period of residency and tax-paying status. Five of those cities have gradually eased the hurdles since last year, consultants said.
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Because of the previous hurdles, Hong Kong residents have only accounted for less than 2 per cent of the estimated total residential transaction worth 700 billion yuan in the GBA region, according to CGS-CIMB Securities.
Last year, they bought about 10,000 homes worth 10 billion yuan in those cities, according to Centaline Group.
Among them are Annabelle Cheung and...