From Hong Kong to the UK – Residents Fleeting China’s New National Security Law

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Since China passed its new national security law last year, Hong Kong residents have become the fifth-largest foreign investor in central London.

With the threat of life imprisonment hanging over their head, many Hong Kong residents applied for British National Overseas passports (BNO), allowing them to live in the UK without the right to work.

The UK government foresees a wave of emigration, estimating over 300,000 Hong Kong residents moving to the UK. Further, the UK government hopes to issue new visas to BNO holders providing them a chance to become British citizens.

The influx of Hong Kongers to the UK has resulted in a surge in demand for luxury real estate in London.

What is to happen to the Hong Kong Housing markets?

The city may see about 13,100 to 16,300 households move to the UK, This number represents roughly 1% of households living in privately owned homes.

The Bank of America expects this movement to trigger a capital outflow of over $36 billion from the Asian financial center in 2021.

Initial predictions indicated that the rise in vacancy would bring about a major shake-up to Hong Kong’s real estate markets causing its infamous high rent to increase by 10%. However, the markets remain resilient with current prices just 5.4% under historic peaks as Chinese investors rally up to buy larger stakes within the market.

Sources: Bloomberg, Reuters