【英语财经】香港及内地散户投资者对地产业热情退却 Individual Investors in Hong Kong, China Turn Cool on Shun Property: Surveys

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2014-5-23 16:26

小艾摘要: Wealthy investors in Hong Kong and China are parking cash on the sidelines as they turn cool toward the property market, according to two surveys of individual investors. Investor appetite for all ass ...
Individual Investors in Hong Kong, China Turn Cool on Shun Property: Surveys
Wealthy investors in Hong Kong and China are parking cash on the sidelines as they turn cool toward the property market, according to two surveys of individual investors.

Investor appetite for all asset classes has weakened since the start of the year, and real estate had become the most unpopular investment at the end of the first quarter, according to a survey of 500 upper-middle class and high-net-worth investors in Hong Kong by life insurer Friends Provident International.

For the first time since the company began tracking investor sentiment in 2012, more Hong Kong investors expressed negative views of property than those who said it was a good time to invest, the data showed.

'The overall perception is that property isn't a good bet,' said James Tan, managing director at Friends Provident International, which manages US$11.1 billion in assets in Asia and the Middle East.

Activity in the property market is falling off, possibly due to cooling measures introduced by the Hong Kong government late last year, he said.

Buyers are getting the message that prices are likely to fall--the question is by how much.

Since it's hard to judge whether the property market is beginning a sharp correction or a lengthy period of stagnation, the temptation is to wait and see, said Tim Ruan, a Hong Kong-based lawyer who has been seeking to buy a property in the city with his fiancée for the past six months.

Asking prices dropped around 10% between the end of last year and March but have barely budged since, Mr Ruan said. 'So I'm kind of sitting on the fence,' he said. 'I'm looking, but I'm not sure if I'll buy at this stage.'

A similar aversion to property in favor of other assets was found among middle- and high-income investors across Asia in a separate study by Manulife, Canada's biggest insurer, with US$269 billion of assets under management worldwide.

Banks including Nomura, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan have warned of a correction in the Chinese property market after unsold real estate rose to a record level in April. Moody's Investors Service, the ratings agency, downgraded the industry outlook from 'stable' to 'negative' on Wednesday.

Hong Kong's property market has reached 'a bit of a stalemate' between buyers and sellers, with broad prices unlikely to change substantially in the near term, said Ronald Chan, head of equities for Asia at Manulife Asset Management.

Sales volumes remain weak, while potential buyers in China were concerned about the effects of oversupply on property values, he said. Still, buyers were clearly willing to invest in both Hong Kong and mainland China for the right price, and were quickly snapping up properties when developers offered significant discounts to clear inventory, he added.

Manulife's study found an improved appetite for stocks and fixed-income investments this year, and the region's investors may return to Asian equities in when the right catalyst emerges, Mr. Chan said.

'They understand valuations are cheap, but they've been cheap for some time. And they're sitting on a lot of profits from the developed market space.'

Anxiety around Chinese real estate has fueled a withdrawal from equity markets in Hong Kong and China even as Western markets soar to record levels this year. This prompted the state-controlled Xinhua news agency to publish a lengthy editorial Wednesday explaining why China was unlikely to see a property market crash like those seen in the U.S., Japan and Hong Kong in recent decades.

两项针对散户投资者的调查显示,香港和中国内地有钱的投资者们对于房地产市场的热情已经消退,正捂着钱袋离场观望。

自今年年初以来,投资者对于所有资产类别的兴趣都有所减弱。根据寿险公司友诚国际有限公司(Friends Provident International)对香港500名中上层人士、高净值资产投资者进行的调查,截至第一季度末,房地产属于最不受欢迎的投资类别。

数据显示,香港投资者中,看跌房地产的人数多于看好当前投资时机的人数,这是自2012年该公司开始追踪投资者人气以来首次出现这样的情况。

友诚国际董事总经理陈来兴(James Tan)说,人们现在的整体看法是,房地产市场不是个好的投资选择。该公司管理着亚洲、中东111亿美元的资产。

他说,地产市场的活跃度正在下降,可能因为香港政府去年年底推出了给楼市降温的措施。

买家也收到了房价可能下跌的信号——问题是跌多少。

香港律师Tim Ruan说,由于很难判断房地产市场到底是已经开始大幅回调还是进入了漫长的停滞期,最好还是静观其变。过去六个月,他和未婚妻一直在香港物色房子。

当被问及怎么看待去年年底至今年3月香港房价跌了大约10%、自那之后却停滞不动时,Ruan说,正因为如此他才抱持观望态度;他正在看房子,但不确定是否会在这个阶段买房。

另外一项由宏利集团(Manulife)进行的独立研究也有类似发现。与房地产相比,亚洲地区中高收入投资者更加青睐其它资产。宏利集团是加拿大最大的保险公司,在全球范围内管理着2,690亿美元的资产。

在中国4月份房地产存量升至纪录水平之后,野村(Nomura)、花旗(Citigroup)和摩根大通(J.P. Morgan)等投资银行纷纷警告称中国房地产市场将出现调整。穆迪投资者服务公司(Moody's Investors Service, 简称:穆迪)周三将该行业的信用评级展望从稳定下调至负面。

宏利投信(Manulife Asset Management)亚洲股市部门主管Ronald Chan表示,香港房地产市场的买家和卖家之家已陷入略微胶着的状态,近期内整体价格不会出现大幅变动。

他说,销售量保持低迷,中国大陆的潜在买家担忧供应过剩对房地产价值的影响。他补充说,不过,买家明显乐于在合适的价位投资香港和中国大陆房地产,而且在开发商为了清空库存而提供大幅折扣时,这些投资者纷纷迅速抢购。

Ronald表示,宏利的研究发现,今年投资者对股票和固定收益投资的兴趣升温,在恰当的催化剂出现时,亚洲地区投资者可能重返股市。

他说,投资者明白目前的估值较低,不过股市已经有一段时间处于低位,目前发达市场走势已经给投资者带来大量利润。

在西方股市涨至纪录水平之际,围绕中国房地产市场的担忧推动投资者撤出香港和中国大陆股市。这促使官方媒体新华社周三发表长篇社论,解释中国为什么不大可能看到最近几十年在美国、日本和香港出现的房地产市场崩盘。

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