Hong Kong property prices - back on the way up in 2019

My last post on the Park Island blog was titled Well that didn't take long. I was referring to the admirable community spirit of Ma Wan residents cleaning up after Hong Kong got hit my massive typhoon, but I could just as well have used that same title for the subject of today's topic, which is about the rapid recovery of the Hong Kong property market.
Take a look at the graph of Park Island property prices for 2019:

Look at that massive spike that has taken place over the last few weeks. This price increase has been mirrored across the Hong Kong property market generally, but the upward trend for Park Island has been particularly sharp.
Well, at a general level, we have the US Fed reducing its outlook for rate rises in 2019. This is positive globally for assets (as assets are usually financed using debt, and if the cost of debt is lower then assets become more "affordable"). In Hong Kong this effect is even more so, as the HKD is pegged to the USD (and hence l…

Well that didn't take long...

Check out how quickly Ma Wan got cleaned up after the typhoon. What a great sense of community Park Islanders have! It was really quite touching and inspiring to see so many pitch in and help out in restoring their homes after the typhoon.

Photos of Super-Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong, Ma Wan

The residents of Park Island, Ma Wan, endured incredibly powerful winds and heavy rain, and survived in style.
Overall, the damage to apartments on Park Island was surprisingly minimal. The most common type of damage was due to water leaking in through windows or various air vents such as in the kitchen, or bathrooms, or via air conditioning units. This is a testimony to the solid and high quality construction quality of the Park Island apartments.
The outdoor areas of Park Island suffered some damage, most of it rather nominal (although it looked pretty bad in the immediate aftermath. Palm trees stripped entirely of leaves, tree branches blown off. Here are a few pictures after the typhoon.

The Tsing Ma Bridge disappears into the fog...

Cool photo. Well done to whoever took the pic!

A few cool photos of the old village on Ma Wan

To the amazing photographer, please let me know who you are so I can credit you! Its great that we can "capture" history before this area is re-developed...

Relaxing view on one of Ma Wan's beaches

Not a bad place to hang our on a day off, with a nice cold beer, bottle of wine, and a picnic blanket :)
I would add though, like all parts of HK, crap does wash up onto the beaches (especially plastic). This beach on Ma Wan, whilst not an officially Government sanctioned beach, is regularly cleaned up by local residents. Thank you for caring!!!

How to calculate Hong Kong stamp duty on property - update 2018

It is time for me to update the guidance I provided on HK property stamp duty few years ago here: HK Stamp Duty on Property for 2018.
Whilst the principles remain the same (eg charge stamp duty, as part of various measures to keep the market from rising too quickly), the stamp duty calculation formula is a little more complicated. 
This increasing complexity is a shame, as Hong Kong has always prided itself on simplicity when it comes to doing financial transactions, as well as being a country (well now actually in fact a "city", albeit a very special one) that embraces the free market and abstains as much as possible from interference in the free market.
These "cooling measures" are intended to suppress value, (eg keeping prices down below what would be the case in a more open market). Sooner or later, when stamp duties are normalized, the prices of property in Hong Kong will move up higher as the many years of suppressed value is unlocked released. 
The Government…