Hong Kong protests continue to dampen investor confidence in city's property market, but London to rebound quickly: Christie's

By Bloomberg / https://www.scmp.com/business/money/money-news/article/3039155/hong-kong-protests-continue-dampen-investor-confidence?utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=contentexchange&utm_source=EdgeProp | November 26, 2019 11:57 AM SGT
London and Hong Kong, two premier financial hubs, have been stifled by ongoing political tension. But for real estate, the cities face different futures, according to the property arm of the world's largest auction house.
Prices in London, suppressed in part as the UK grapples with Brexit, will rebound quickly, said Dan Conn, chief executive of Christie's International Real Estate. But improvement is far less certain in Hong Kong, after more than five months of violent protests, he said.
The three-year fight over Brexit may be coming to a head with the December 12 general election. Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson is gambling an election will finally give him the numbers in parliament to push through Britain's often-delayed divorce from the European Union.
His rival, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, could put the whole thing to a second referendum, though he is trailing badly in polls. The EU has granted a three-month Brexit delay to January 31.
Conn likes London because the UK market has been "hammered" for years, offering deals in what he calls a "great market". Home prices in London's most expensive districts have declined by 20.4 per cent since their peak in 2014, according to broker Savills. Brexit has also weighed on pricing, with values down 13.6 per cent since the referendum vote, the broker's data show.
"It's depressed " it has the potential to come back relatively quickly," Conn said in an interview in New York. "If you're a buyer now, you can take advantage of the last four or five years that have been not so great."
Conservative Party leader and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson during BBC Question Time leaders' special debate in Sheffield, Britain, on November 22, 2019. Britons go to the polls on December 12 in a general election. Photo: EPA-EFE
But Johnson may impose a potential roadblock. His party said it plans to hit foreign buyers in England with a new tax intended to cool prices...