Save Money Properly for Your Property – A Budget Plan to Win a Flat

Randomly ask a Hongkonger for the top 5 dreadful problems they are facing right now. To save money for getting a property is probably on the list.  Being one of the wealthiest places in the world, Hong Kong is where people struggle the most to get shelter. Ridiculous, isn’t it? According to the Demographia International Housing Affordability Study, Hong Kong has been ranked the least affordable housing market for 9 years in a row. 

Yet, don’t be hopeless, fellow Hongkongers. With a proper buget plan, a 5-digit monthly income can turn into an investment in a 7-digit-priced flat. But where to start? The first thing you can do is to understand exactly what you want.

gini blog - Save Properly for Your Property - a Budget Plan to Win a Flat

Know what you want

Budget: Identify your budget target and have a clear budget plan in mind.
Location
: Where do you want your flat to be? Are you looking for a flat in a prime location?
Size: Does it matter how big it is? Do you value the size of your flat most?
Purpose: Are you trying to settle down with the property you budget for? Or are you planning to trade it for a better choice a few years from now?  

Lay all these out and figure out what you are exactly looking for. 

gini blog - Save Properly for Your Property - a Budget Plan to Win a Flat

Photo credit: @grtshw

What about an Express Flat?

After the evaluation, you might realize that although there seem to be lots of flats on sale, available choices within your budget are in fact limited. If you are desperately in need of a place of your own and you are targeting public housing units, then the Express Flat Allocation System serves just right. 

Eligible Public Rental Housing applicants are invited to participate in the flat selection procedure where less popular flats will be available for participants to choose from. But be aware that those express flats might be of less desirable floor level, orientation or internal layout, while some might have a history of unpleasant incidents.  

To make up for such downsides, other than fast-tracking applicants, the government provides rent reduction incentives for tenants who take up flats with effective vacancy of 12 months. If it sounds like something you want to look into, keep an eye on the next round!

gini blog - Save Properly for Your Property - a Budget Plan to Win a Flat

Photo credit: @markgohlie

Go where the rail grows

If you are buying for self-occupancy, the two solutions above are for you. But if you care for property investment, hence the potential for its value to increase, you should keep an eye on the upcoming infrastructure projects. These highly affect the costs of land.

gini blog - Save Properly for Your Property - a Budget Plan to Win a Flat

Photo credit: MTR Shatin to Central Link

The opening of West Island Line in 2014 tells you why. ‘The rich stay in Mid-Levels, and the poor stay in Sai Ying Pun’, used to be the saying to best describe the Western District. It was not until the extension of the Island line to the Western District that things changed drastically, placing SYP and Kennedy Town up the list of favorites, as the extension connected the Western District with bustling Central.

This extension has turned the old-fashioned Western District into the new Soho, with high-end restaurants and cafes. Rents have risen to $50HKD per foot. 

According to the latest updates, here are 2 of the 10 major infrastructure development with property development projects worth keeping an eye on:

  1. Sha Tin to Central Link

gini blog - Save Properly for Your Property - a Budget Plan to Win a Flat

Photo credit: MTR Shatin to Central Link

Sha Tin to Central Link is divided into 2 sections, and its operation is scheduled to begin by the end of 2021.

The first section runs from Tai Wai station to Hung Hom station. This segment connects the Ma On Shan line and the West Rail line, and forms the new Tuen Ma line. 

The second section runs from Hung Hom station to Admiralty station.This cross-harbour segment will be an extension of the East Rail line. 

gini blog - Save Properly for Your Property - a Budget Plan to Win a Flat

Photo credit: MTR Shatin to Central Link

After the grand opening of Sha Tin to Central Link, there will be 5 newly built stations, namely Hin Keng, Kai Tak, Sung Wong Toi, To Kwa Wan and Exhibition. The 5 existing intersects will also be renewed or expanded. The property value of those areas is very likely to increase.

  1. Tseung Kwan O Cross Bay Link

gini blog - Save Properly for Your Property - a Budget Plan to Win a Flat

Photo credit: Cross Bay Link, Tseung Kwan O

With the proposed Tseung Kwan O – Lam Tin Tunnel, the Cross Bay Link is a bridge that connects Tiu King Ling, LOHAS Park and directly reaches Lam Tin. Scheduled to be finished at the end of 2021, the project has given the dead city LOHAS Park life again.

Grow with size, grow with price

When it comes to private domestic property, the prices are definitely higher. But it is worth it if you treat it as a long-term investment. For first-time property buyers, studio flats are what your budget can handle. Priced around HK$4,000,000 to HK$5,000,000, these units are around 200 square feet, just enough for a kitchen, a toilet, and a bedroom. Sounds cramped? But for singles, they can be just right. 

The Aurora in Tsuen Wan by Billion Development and Project Management Ltd released 238 units in early August. Providing orientations ranging from studio flats to 3-room units, it caters to the needs of different potential buyers. The price per feet for The Aurora ranges from HK$16,299 to HK$20,083. Definitely a reminder for us to work harder on our budget plan if we are to get ourselves a private domestic flat.

gini blog - Save Properly for Your Property - a Budget Plan to Win a Flat

No ways to save? No way!

With that said, it’s time we look into the costs of buying a flat, including the property price and other legal and agency fees, stamp duties as well as interest payments.  Estimate a lump sum you will need and go ahead into working towards the budget goal.  

gini is here to guide you through your budget – identify it when you are out of budget and help you stick with your own property budget plan. We know that keeping your budget alone can be hard, and that is why gini is here with you on your property buying path. Download gini now to take charge of your financial budget again!

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