Gangster attack to weigh on property prices in Yuen Long

July 24, 2019 12:06
White-clad gangsters sow terror at the MTR station in Yuen Long on Sunday night. Photo: Reuters

A group of triad gangsters wearing white T-shirts stormed into the Yuen Long MTR Station at midnight on Sunday and indiscriminately attacked passengers inside the station.

The violent incident is set to weigh on property prices in Yuen Long, and Sun Hung Kai Properties (00016.HK), who has built a massive land bank in the district over the years, could be the most affected.

Yuen Long is the fifth largest town in Hong Kong, with 580,000 residents. The Hong Kong government began developing the district in 1977.

Sun Hung Kai Properties has spent over HK$20 billion in acquiring land in the district since the 1990s. Its YOHO residential projects, including YOHO Town, YOHO Midtown and Grand YOHO, were well-received by homebuyers.

Quality flats, nice amenities, easy access to public transport and cheaper costs are some of the major draws of these projects, which have attracted lots of small families and first-time buyers from other parts of the city.

As Yuen Long became popular, several other leading developers such as CK Assets Holdings (01113.HK) and New World Development Company (00017.HK) also rushed in take advantage of the boom.

However, the incident on Sunday may have changed the public perception of the district.

According to reports, the white-clad thugs attacked people randomly. Many commuters and students were beaten up just because they were wearing black, the color of the protest movement. And police were nowhere to be found for one hour.

A thorough investigation by the government and strict enforcement of the law by the police would be needed to restore confidence.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on July 23

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Hong Kong Economic Journal columnist