Wealthy Hong Kong expats looking to emigrate to Oz

Published:  22 Oct at 6 PM
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In spite of reports suggesting expat bankers in Hong Kong are in it for the long-haul, realtors are seeing a rush to invest in Australian property.

Both expat professionals and Hong Kong’s wealthy elite are now hedging their bets on the outcome of the seemingly endless weekend protests. Although it seems no-one actually wants to leave, those with enough folding money are quietly investing in Australian property as a hedge against a full Chinese military takeover of one of the world’s most important financial hubs.

From expat professionals worried about getting caught up in a political storm to Chinese business owners with families who don’t want to be ruled by their country of origin, many are seeing Australia as a secure refuge and planning ahead as a result. Other causes of concern are Hong Kong's soaring cost of living and its weakening economy. According to leader Carrie Lan, a technical recession is closing in due to the protests, the ever-widening gap between the poor and the rich and the total unaffordability of Hong Kong property. International real estate agencies sited in the city have seen a four-fold increase in enquiries since the protests began, with several seeing over a thousand potential buyers a month.

It’s not just Australia that's popular, although hundreds of skilled and business immigration visas are now being applied for, but other destinations reaching across Asia and the world at large are also being investigated. The focus at present is at the market’s top end, with luxury properties creating the most interest from potential buyers. Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne are the three most requested locations, with enquiries up by 300 per cent and sales of luxury apartments rising by 30 per cent.
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