Today is the last exhibition day of the Art Basel Hong Kong, the leading contemporary art fair in Asia. It brings together visitors who are interested in art, but also in investing in high-quality goods. We talked with Chris Liem, our Licence Partner in Hong Kong, about the correlation between art lovers and real estate enthusiasts and how art assumes a significant role in the real estate market.
Is there a relation between Real Estate and Art in Hong Kong?
In general, there is a correlation, similar to yachts and private jet acquisitions: Art is a sign of affluence. Many renowned buildings in Hong Kong are themselves considered to be work's of art. The Sir Norman Foster-designed HSBC headquarters in Central, Frank Gehry's the Opus, The Bank of China building by I. M.Pei, are some such world-famous architecturally and artistic buildings in Hong Kong.
Do people that are interested in real estate also like to go to an art exhibit like Art Basel?
Yes, Hong Kong people love a party and in recent years Hong Kong has become a prominent hub on the Arts circuit. Hong Kong is home to a significant affluent population who view both art and real estate as choice investment assets.
How is the real estate market in Hong Kong developing at the moment?
The real estate market towards the end of 2014 had rebounded from the lows of 2011 when the government introduced the first cooling measures. The Land Registry recorded 63,807 residential sales in 2014. This figure represents a 25% increase over 2013. Primary home sales accounted for a bulk of these sales as several new builds were launched by developers at attractive price points. The market thus has improved, but uncertainties about the political situation and the tapering of quantitive easing and the rise of interest rates in the US still remain.
What are clients most searching for in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong provides a stable, safe living environment at the same time the city is diverse, vibrant and exciting. All these attributes are extremely attractive to foreign real estate buyers in Hong Kong. As a result, they don't hesitate to put down big bucks to acquire 'a dream home' or even a 'trophy house' in Hong Kong. The business environment and climate in Hong Kong means that our clients looking for Hong Kong property look for objects which fit their image and brand, which is comfortable and convenient and is a stable and secure investment.