Hong Kong Property-Loan Pipeline Heats Up

By Annie Lee and Yu Zhong / Bloomberg | February 8, 2018 2:29 PM SGT
The pipeline for property-related loans in Hong Kong has ballooned to $13.2 billion as developers scramble to boost funding, countering policy makers’ efforts to rein in a market that continues to skyrocket.
Potential funding for the real-estate sector accounts for more than 40 percent of total upcoming volumes in the city, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. One of the most eye-catching deals is a HK$33 billion ($4.22 billion) package for a Chinese consortium’s purchase of a landmark office tower, which could be the largest property loan in Hong Kong since 2015.
Among the signs of froth in the Asian financial hub:
  • Bank loans to property developers rose 28 percent last year, faster than the overall gain of 16 percent
  • The growth came even as the Hong Kong Monetary Authority started tightening limits on lending in June
  • In January, the city boosted banks’ capital buffers to limit risks posed by booms in property and credit, after Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the government faces an uphill battle to curb real-estate values
  • Land prices are still rising, suggesting higher housing prices in the world’s most expensive market
This story, written by Annie Lee and Yu Zhong for Bloomberg, first appeared on Feb 8.