Before thinking of buying in Hong Kong you must be aware that land all belongs to the government. So in fact, when you buy a property, you buy an agreement of lease, which can last from 50 years to 999 years. Needless to say that the price will not be the same whether you buy it for 50 years or for 999 years. Anyone is entitled to buy in Hong Kong, but for companies, if they want to buy a property in Hong-Kong they must register with the Hong Kong Companies Registry first.
Like for renting, the easiest way to find a place to buy in Hong Kong is to use local property agencies. You will pay fees for them but on the other hand, they will handle all the paperwork for you and you just have to sign at the end! The commission for the agency is usually 1% of the sale price but you can negociate that. This commission comes from both the buyer and the vendor.
See the renting section but of course you can look by yourself in some local newspapers like you would do in your home country.
As for financing your purchase, it is pretty easy to get a loan. For that, you will have to shop around the best financing plan offered by various banks in Hong-Kong (see the banking section for more information). In general, you will need documents like a copy of the buyer's Hong Kong ID, a copy of the provisional Sale and Purchase Agreement and of course a proof of income which is the most important for the loan.
Don't forget to get a solicitor in the loop so that he can make sure everything is right and by-laws. For instance, the land of the property you want to buy must be registered at the Hong Kong's Land Registry office. There are also all sorts of check-ups like making sure the house is sellable and that the current owner is indeed the owner! Otherwise the usual system applies in Hong-Kong like you would find in your home-country like a deposit first and then complete sell of the property etc...
Real Estates and Online property web sites
Here is a non-exhaustive list of online property web sites that you may want to contact for housing:
And here are some Real Estates agencies that would be interesting to check out:
Buying a property in Hong Kong also entails a Stamp Duty payable to the government of the HKSAR and is usually paid by both the purchaser and the vendor in equal shares. The amount of stamp duty payable for any purchases over HKD $2 million is calculated at a progressive rate depending on the value of the purchase and ranges from around 1.5% to 4.25% of the purchase price.
Special Stamp Duty*
With effect from the 20th November 2010, the HKSAR Government also imposed a Special Stamp Duty to the sale of property for the sole purpose of curbing speculation. If any property is acquired and resold within 24 months it will be subject to this Stamp Duty and is usually payable by both parties. If applicable, the amount of special stamp duty payable is 15% of the purchase price for a property that is held for less than 6 months, 10% for holding period less 12 months and 5% for a holding period less than 24 months. For more information on buying in Hong Kong visit this useful e-resource or contact +852 2910 7832.
-HK Mortgages are based on conservative bank valuations-
The amount of mortgage that can be acquired in Hong Kong is based on the specific bank’s valuation of the property, and depending on the economic environment the valuation can be significantly lower than the purchase price.
-Minimum required down-payments-
In the second quarter of 2011, the HKMA (Hong Kong Monetary Authority) had ordered local banks to tighten down-payment ratios for buyers in an effort to rein in the soaring property prices. For homes costing more than HKD$10 million, down-payments were increased to 50%, homes between HKD$7 to $10 million increased to 40% at a cap of HKD$5 million, homes costing below HKD$7 million down-payment ratio’s remained at 30% but were capped at HKD$4.2 million.
-Overseas buyers may require a higher down-payment-*
In response to the influx of affluent Mainland buyers contributing to the heated Hong Kong property market, in 2011 the HKMA also ordered local banks to raise down-payments for non-local residents. Mortgage applicants in Hong Kong whose primary income is outside Hong Kong will need to make a higher down payment of at least 10 percent irrespective of the property type or value. For more information on buying in Hong Kong visit this useful e-resource.