What does it means when housing prices go down in Hong Kong

Given that the US federal Reserve increased interest rate by 0.25%, the escalated China-US trade war tension and the upcoming vacancy tax in Hong Kong, the world’s most expensive property market prices drop about 2.5-5% which compared to last few months.

Together with major Hong Kong banks raising their prime lending rate for the first time for decade, the property bullish market in Hong Kong has come to the end. People in Hong Kong are witnessing the economy is going down in 2018. The purchasing power from mainlanders are weaken due to the RMB devaluation. The HS index has already dropped from the top by nearly 5000 points. Hong Kong economy growth depends on Chinese economy and Hong Kong lacks economic characteristic after hand-over. Hong Kong does not have any developments on special or significant areas as such AI platform, IT or creative technology industries. Hong Kong economy growth is mainly leading by banking and housing markets. Most of the economy analysts believe that the bullish stock markets and housing markets in Hong Kong are benefited by the hot money from China.

When the Hong Kong economy is going down, industrial productions will drop, retail sales will drop, consumer confidence will drop, new jobs will drop and finally housing price will drop. House price will always be the last thing to drop. Once it begins to drop, the correction will be 5-10 years because property is not a liquid asset. If there is a recession in Hong Kong, no one can get a mortgage from bank and you cannot sell at good price.

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From Bullish to Bearish in Hong Kong Stock Market

US-China trade war, turmoil of emerging markets, devaluation of RMB and China slowing economy push Hong Kong stock market from bullish to bearish. Hang Seng Index ended at 26,422.55 yesterday which was 20% lower than the peak of January in this year.

After the dead cat bounce during the past 2 weeks, there is a steep decline in Hong Kong stock market and I believe that the bottom hasn’t be reached. While lots of Hong Kong investors saying “Be greedy when others are fearful” and going to buy stocks in lower prices, I am considering “Be fearful when others are greedy”. There are a couple of reasons to believe that the stock prices are not cheap enough. Firstly, the US-China trade war tension hasn’t been released. Each time Trump threatens new traffics on Chinese goods, both mainland and Hong Kong stock markets tumble. And two sides are not expected to come to a solid agreement or compromise in a short period of time. Secondly, nervous investors are yanking money out of the emerging markets. As China is considered to be the world biggest emerging markets, hot money is fleeing China now. Together with the China slowing economy and RMB devaluation, China is no longer attractive for foreign investors. Thirdly, Hong Kong is going to follow the US Federal Reserve to rise interest rates in September which will make investors consider more to borrow cash and buy stocks. Besides, Alibaba co-founder and chief Jack Ma is going to retire from the Chinese e-commerce giant. Is it another factor implies that there will be a sharper-than-expected slowdown in China economy this year?

Do you see any attractive factors excluding lower prices to buy stocks in HSI? Technically, I will see resistance at 26,000 area and then 25,600 for a possible bottoming signal in September.

A boom-and-bust cycle is going to happen in HK property market.

Hong Kong’s property values keep rising during the past decade. However, with the Chinese economy slowing down and the US dollar being stronger again, a booming Hong Kong property market is at risk.

A number of big banks in Hong Kong, including HSBC have lift rates on new mortgages in last week and it will cause a correction and discounting for housing market in 2019. Hong Kong has the classic symptoms, such as an overvalued housing market and high debt, which have caused many past financial crises. These symptoms will leave this city become vulnerable to an Fed hiking cycle.

The Hong Kong housing market looks massively overvalued and the property market sentiment is going to turn negative. Coming with the slowdown of the Chinese capital being channeled into residential market, investors are being more alert to signs of sliding in Hong Kong property market.

Buy or Sell Tencent stocks?

Tencent’s profit drops as Chinese government freezes game approval. Due to a temporary suspension of game monetisation approval and a regulatory restructuring of the government,Tencent’s share plunge for a fourth day. And now it falls to about HKD 325 dramatically.

Tencent was always supposed to be the star that goes no wrong. However, it surprised the investors with the first profit drop after a freeze on the new game approval in China. It’s also a reminder for the investors that the Chinese government can really break some of these major technological companies like Tencent. No one really knows when the approval will start again. As Tencent’s revenue is really relying on gaming in the recent years, the regulatory restructuring really hurts.

Furthermore, like I said in my previous post, the major investors of Tencent have already offloaded their shares and they are shifting their funds from Tencent in the previous months. Tencent is no longer a sure bet for individual investors.

The Yuen has no way to go!

The Yuen has fallen greater than expected. It seems that China’s government is facing a huge price in fighting a defensive war. Feeble yuen affects stock markets, commodity prices and property bubbles in both Hong Kong and China. And due to the ‘one country, two systems’, Hong Kong is in the same boat. The fleeing and the devaluation of RMB not just have impacts on Hong Kong-owned factories in China, but also the Hong Kong property prices.

Would that be the first financial crisis in China after the Open Door Policy?

Stock markets in Hong Kong and China are still shuffling today. Individual investors should take a wait-and-see approach instead of buying more stocks.

If the stock prices keep going down, the bubbles of the real estate markets in China and Hong Kong will burst. The real estate prices are unaffordable for many people in China and Hong Kong for so long. For users, it is not a perfect time to buy flats with mortgage loans this year. Furthermore, if the bearish markets eventually happens in China, that will be the first time for people in China to face financial crisis since the reform and opening-up policy in 1978. Will China’s government have enough experiences to tackle the economic bubbles and collapse? China’s government is considering RMB devaluation to fight against the US tariffs. However, the officers may need to consider the impacts of monetary policy on the baby boomers retirements very seriously. If the assets in China are forced to devalue, that will become a big issue for social stability in China.

The stocks prices are not low enough

Trade war anxiety is spreading in the stock markets especially in the US, China and Hong Kong.

While China’s government has unleashed $108 billion in reserve cut for most banks, the stock markets in China and Hong Kong are still shrinking surprisingly. And Hang Seng Index and Dow both have nearly 10% decline from previous highs. Some greedy individual investors just cannot wait to buy stocks in this bearish sentiment. However, for the major investors, they are looking for not less than 20-30% gains from the stock markets.

Assume Dow will increase to 26,000 points and HSI will get back to 32,000 points in the future, the stock prices will still have 10% or more corrections and there is still a period of time to be patient.