Cover (Photo: Gary Li)

On September 28, Tatler and The Upper House hosted House Stories, the latest edition of a monthly panel series at the hotel’s Sky Lounge. This edition of the series was particularly special as it coincided with the news of Hong Kong’s new 0+3 Covid-19 strategy

When? September 28, 2022

Where? The Sky Lounge at The Upper House

Who? Minh Do, Antony Daly and Patrick Ho

Here’s what you missed:

With spirits lifted, 80 guests joined a discussion on the most headline-making trends in the Hong Kong property market today, with expert insights from Patrick Ho, deputy head of sustainable development at Swire Properties; Minh Do, co-chief operating officer at Animoca Brands; and Antony Daly, associate director and team head at List Sotheby’s International Realty in Hong Kong, who gave the audience a glimmer of hope towards the potential rebound of the city’s real estate market.

Moderated by Andrea Lo, editor of Tatler Homes Hong Kong, the panel dived into the rise of super-sized mansions, the increasing interest in property investments in the metaverse, and the focus on sustainability in new developments.

Daly, who has over a decade of luxury residential sales and leasing experience, said that to understand property trends, one must first understand people’s priorities and what they value: “What clients are looking for, especially in the ultra-luxury sector of the market, is privacy, security and something that has been built by a reputable developer with a strong architect behind it. They want plenty of space and an exceptional interior designer to create amazing show-homes that are turnkey properties. Each time we go to a new development it has surpassed the last. This results in forever increasing client expectations.”

Ho agreed, but added that the environmental considerations of these properties is becoming an increasingly important factor for investors when making buying decisions: “People are looking for investment properties to not only provide a financial return, but to bring impact in the form of environmental and social benefits. We are seeing a large demand from commercial clients for buildings that are sustainable, green and energy efficient with good accessibility to nature,” he said.

Though most buyers have their feet firmly planted in the real world, Do is innovating and building infrastructure for Web3 and said there is plenty of interest in virtual real estate, too, separating the types of buyers into ultra-luxury buyers, investors, mass affluent buyers and mass buyers. Animoca is a Hong Kong unicorn and global leader in Web3, blockchain and the metaverse,  and is driving a shift in the way people are purchasing property. “[Virtual realty and brick-and-mortar property] are different asset classes, but there are some similarities. Often it’s about who you want to be and how you want to to represent yourself to the world. In the real world, only your personal network knows where you live. [With virtual realty] everyone knows where you live. The younger generation [predominantly] identifies themselves as who they are online and not who they are offline and Covid-19 has exacerbated that,” he said.

Other topics included how sustainability is implemented in the metaverse, how the pandemic has changed the kind of homes people seek in Hong Kong, and the exodus of residents from Mid-Levels to outlying areas like Sai Kung for the opportunity to bask in more outdoor space.

The evening’s biggest round of applause greeted a statement of confidence from Daly. “There is a constant demand for bigger houses. It seems that 12,000 sq ft is becoming the next normal [for the ultra-rich],” he said. “It has been a remarkable and quick transition, and developer confidence has been boosted. I have tremendous faith in the Hong Kong property market, long term. We just need to be patient.”

 

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