It is never too old to buy a home in Hong Kong.
Take a look at transactions for units at Grand Central, a residential development in the old Kwun Tong district.
The project, being undertaken by Sino Land and Chinese Estates in partnership with the Urban Renewal Authority, is making news for attracting quite a few silver-haired elderly homebuyers.
For example, a 98-year-old woman is reported to have bought a three-bedroom unit for HK$15 million, while in another transaction a 92 year-old senior also signed up for a unit.
Given that the project is still in construction phase, the purchases by the super-senior citizens arouse curiosity, to say the least.
One wonders how long the seniors will be able to enjoy living in their new premises after the wait for possession of the properties.
Or, is it that they are buying the flats in order to leave them as gifts for their grandchildren?
We all know how tough it is for young people to buy a home of their own in the notoriously expensive Hong Kong.
Facing impossible odds, many from the younger generation have simply given up on the home ownership dream.
In a recent Citibank survey, over 63 percent of respondents said they don’t believe they can afford a home in their lifetime.
For seniors with the necessary resources, what better gift than leaving a property for the struggling young members of their families!
Meanwhile, another reason for the purchases could be the desire to live out their final years in comfort, splurging on a big-ticket but totally useful asset.
With longer life expectancy, it is perfectly understandable if people see themselves living unto a ripe old age, hitting the century mark and beyond.
Well, whatever the reason, the seniors are showing that one can buy a home – without the worry of mortgage – at any age.
At least you get to own a home in Hong Kong, something to brag about before departing this world.
For the three partner-developers of Grand Central, the purchases by senior citizens have come as a useful publicity tool, as the transactions allow them to boast about the wide age-range of the buyers.
The developers all stand to make big profits before Christmas after unloading some 382 units at an average of HK$18,000 per square foot, enjoying strong take-up despite a feeble stock market and various macro uncertainties.
We cannot predict how many people will last a century, but we can be pretty certain that the housing boom will go on forever in this city.
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