Hong Kong eases mortgage rules for commercial property
Hong Kong's banking regulator said on Wednesday it would relax commercial property mortgage rules, in a move to boost liquidity in a market that has been hit hard by U.S.-China trade tensions, violent street protests last year and the coronavirus crisis.
The change lifts the cap on the loan-to-value ratio for banks providing mortgages for non-residential properties to 50% from 40%, effective Thursday.
Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) deputy chief executive Arthur Yuen told a press conference the change was designed to make it easier for the commercial sector to obtain mortgages.
Hong Kong’s commercial property market, the most expensive in the world, saw a drop in transactions in the first half, with prices of offices and retail premises dropping 15% and 10% respectively from the second half of 2019, and the pressure is likely to remain, according to HKMA.