According to the Rating and Valuation Department of the Hong Kong Government1, the average price of apartments of 300 square feet on HK island and in Kowloon was around HKD $4.99 million and HKD $4.11million respectively.
That means, for example, if you want to buy an apartment for HKD $5million with an 80% mortgage for property, you would have to pay a 20% down payment. Beyond that, you will have to pay other miscellaneous fees which add up to around HKD $1.2 million (this includes 3% property stamp duty, legal charges and other miscellaneous fees).
While that may seem hard, the following nine tips might help you to realize your goal of buying your home.
1. Open a joint savings account
Apart from pushing each other to save more efficiently, the two of you can make a financial commitment together. Sharing your own personal savings and financial management concepts can also be a great leap for your relationship.
2. Save before you spend
The old saving concept is “save what’s left”, but when it comes to the goal of buying property, you have to be more proactive. The two of you should make apportioning of monthly salaries at the beginning of every month to save, and then “spend what’s left” for your expenses. You could also consider regular saving deposits with recurrent saving plans to give each other a stronger sense of achieving a shared goal.
3. Keep track of monthly expenses
Keep a record of each month’s spending, so you can see if there’re wastages in some expenses or if there are areas where you could spend more wisely. There’re quite a number of mobile apps that you can download to help you mark down everyday expenses such as travelling costs or sundry costs like buying bread.
4. Make a financial plan early
In today’s low-interest environment, savings won’t increase much in value. If you want to use time to gain a greater return for your savings, you should consult an expert to make sound investment strategies. There are many different financial funds and saving solutions on the market, so make a careful comparisons and select the proper financial management plan.
5. Pay attention to property trends
You should watch the property market trends, or even stay connected with real estate agents, so as soon as you have saved up enough “bullets”, you can take action right away.
6. Keep an eye on the macroeconomic environment
The property market is changing constantly, raising interest rates, trade wars, even the Government’s Policy Address, can all affect Hong Kong property price trends. Stay close to financial news and macroeconomic data, and consult financial advisors if you have any questions, and then adjust your investment portfolio accordingly.
7. Work more and earn more
Apart from saving up, you could also find ways to earn more. Make good use of your strengths and take some part-time jobs during your spare time. This will not only help to increase your income, but also to spend less time on entertainment and leisure.
8. Change smartphones less often
New smartphone and service plan are costly. A new phone that costs over $10,000, and one launched two years ago which only costs around $3,000 can perform the same social media and communication functions with your friends. If you can resist the temptation of changing too often to a new phone, you can also conquer other consumption desires.
9. Modify your holiday destinations
Many Hongkongers like to travel to Japan and even see it as their “second home”. To save up to buy a property, you might need to go less often, or give up long-haul trips such as going to Europe or Australia. But when the two of you are one at heart, going elsewhere like South-east Asia, Macau or even Cheung Chau can also earn you sweet memories.
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