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Ready to be a First-time Home Buyer?

Flip open the newspaper and you will notice property prices hitting a record high in Hong Kong. “Tuen Mun HOS priced for nearly $10K per sq. ft.”, “All-time high price at Sunshine City” and “A 3-room unit at Heya Green sold for $9M” are just some of the staggering headlines.

The sadness has led certain pessimistic young people to deliberately look for lower wages to become eligible for subsidized housing application. In my opinion, there are more practical ways to chase our property dream in a more positive light.

(1) Seize the Chance

The Housing Authority will put up around 2,700 and 2, 000 HOS flats for pre-sale in the years 2015-16 and 2016-17 respectively. The overwhelming response makes some people think that the chance is almost equivalent to winning the Mark Six, but don’t forget that good things come to those who try.

For the last batch of new HOS flats put up for pre-sale, certain eligible applicants simply give up due to the low chances, while others fail to submit the required documents before the deadline. As two rounds of HOS flat applications are scheduled to launch soon, we should not let this chance slip away that easily.



(2) Keep Track of Market Update

The adjustment of the double stamp duty last year significantly boosted buyers’ sentiment, as we saw upgraders searching more actively for larger flats. As the market is currently more influenced by policies, we should get familiar with the latest update.

Recent proposals for flat supplies include two more forms of subsidized flats sales and 5,000 subsidized apartments exclusively for the youth, of which the chairman of Henderson Land Development suggested to build them at Tai Hang Sai Estate. As a result, these proposals could possibly bring new hope for first-time buyers.

(3) Explore Ways to Increase Income

The young generation gets a headache just thinking about owning a home, as they know that pay rise falling far behind property price increase will make them stray further away from their property dream.

Instead of blatantly accepting our fate, we should find ways to increase our income. One of the options includes becoming an entrepreneur. I recently read an article about a young cook who built his catering empire by inventing a new noodle flavour and he managed to open 8 stores within a year.

Another article talks about a generous owner who plans to rent out a retail store for $1 dollar to support young business owners. The Hong Kong Trade Development Council and The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups are just some of the organizations that provide support on business development.

Other than starting a business, we can find some part-time jobs to help increase our savings for a down payment. Learning some financial planning skills is also good for us in the long run.

Every cloud has a silver lining. Good things will come to us as long as we stay positive!

Date: 30-01-2015