Hong Kong Buyer Trends and Brexit – Phil Soon, Salboy Asia

Soho’s Eli McGeever recently sat down with Phil Soon, Managing Director Asia – Salboy International to discuss his thoughts on Hong Kong buyer trends around Manchester property and the impact of Brexit.

About Salboy and Phil Soon: a globally renowned UK property developer – developing, funding and constructing all their schemes. Phil Soon is the Managing Director of Salboy’s Asia division; headquartered in Hong Kong. He leads, manages and oversees all day to day operations across the Asia Pacific.

With the rapid growth of Salboy to date, Phil & the team aim to better service and meet the needs of new and recurrent overseas investors; as well as having a vision to promote and establish Salboy’s unparalleled properties in Hong Kong and wider South East Asia.

Phil recognises the value of promoting partnering relationships with people and organisations, who share the same passion and commitment of property and property investment. Phil’s ethos are the key drivers to how he manages the team, as well as the reputation of Salboy.

Salboy’s Local Crescent Development in Manchester, UK

EM: How have you seen buyers react to Brexit?

The investors we see generally fit into two camps; those who see Brexit as a risk, and those who see Brexit as an opportunity. Those in the ‘Brexit is a risk’ camp generally do not have a property in the UK, or even one outside of their home city. Investors that see opportunity are typically seasoned investors; they have invested in the UK before and have a grasp of the market dynamics.

In one of the markets we operate in, Manchester, there are many other benefits to offset Brexit. Manchester today is recognised as the UK’s 2nd City, and is the largest and fastest growing UK regional capital. In the last 20 years, the Manchester economy has almost doubled in size with continuous inward investment. Not only is Manchester is home to 80 of the FTSE 100, other inward investments include the HS2 rail link, £800M N.O.M.A scheme, £1 Billion Airport City development project.

Regardless of the UK’s current situation, most investors understand that now is the perfect time to make a purchase because the pound-sterling is low in general. Every country experiences political and economical dynamics, and the UK has remained relatively stable throughout the years. Whether it be local owner-occupier purchasers or overseas investors, these buyers recognise opportunity and how this environment is ideal for investing.

EM: What buying trends are you seeing from Hong Kong investors?

At the start of the year we saw a number of investors hesitant to commit, with the original Brexit date looming, along with the Chinese New Year festivities. As the year has progressed, we have seen more action from buyers exploring opportunities abroad and property investment in the UK is no exception.

Asian buyers are very sophisticated investors – they are very interested in the figures; they want to see the capital appreciation and the yield is important. With the pound-sterling being low against the Hong Kong Dollar, this has only had a positive impact for Hong Kong investors.

Numbers aside, investors understand the population growth of Manchester – a city with one of the largest student populations in Europe, with an increasing number of post- graduates deciding to stay on. In light of this, we have seen particular interest from buyers looking to purchase properties close to the top universities in the UK, of which we have two developments; ‘Burlington Square’ is a mere 2 minutes walk to the University of Manchester and ‘Local Crescent’ is just a short walk to the University of Salford.

With regards to property type, investors are preferring new build, rather than second-hand / refurbished stock. Our current developments are all selling fast with its added appeal of being located in Manchester’s prime locations. The demographic of people renting, coupled with the rapid rate that Manchester is evolving, makes this the perfect environment for property investment.

For more information, contact Salboy International:
Tel: +852 2557 8777
Whatsapp: +852 6897 1112
Email: [email protected]

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