While people are dealing with the financial crisis in the West, people in Asia are facing the same problem with a slight twist, a financial turbulence on properties far more unexpected.
The rich are getting richer in China, making it impossible for Hong Kongresidents to afford to climb the property ladder. Indeed, many have been buying properties in Hong Kong hoping for a good rental return, and there are thousands of properties that have been sold at a high price. However, these properties have remained empty.
To combat this problem, the Hong Kong government is seriously looking into charging a tax for those who buy housing for an investment and not to live in. If enacted, the property vacancy tax will be used to discourage property owners from leaving properties empty for too long so that the government can rein in surging home prices and property rental rates effectively.
Hong Kong home prices rose 13 percent in the first nine months of 2011. At the end of September, local home prices were still 6 percent higher than the previous historical high recorded in 1997.