Do I have to sell my Hong Kong property before immigrating abroad? -C view: Shi Yongqing-am730

Do I have to sell my Hong Kong property before immigrating abroad?

Hong Kong has the simplest tax system and one of the lowest tax rates in the world. If you don’t sell your own property before immigrating to a foreign country, and then sell it after immigrating to a foreign country, you will have to pay heavy taxes. Therefore, many people who intend to emigrate choose to sell their buildings in Hong Kong first, convert them into cash, and take them abroad. This can reduce a lot of tax burdens.

However, this is not without risk. It must be carefully considered before making a choice. I have been working as a real estate agency since the 1970s. I have seen many cases of immigrants selling properties, most of which are the economic losses incurred by selling the property early in the morning, which is greater than leaving the property in Hong Kong. of. Because of the tax saved, it is difficult to make up for the subsequent asset appreciation of Hong Kong properties.

I expect that this situation will still exist in the future because: (i) Hong Kong’s GDP growth rate will still be faster than the destination of most Hong Kong immigrants. Where GDP grows fast, property prices generally rise faster. (ii) Hong Kong’s real estate has a large number of mainland investors who get rich first, and there is no need to worry about the exhaustion of demand.

Some people say that this is just a situation that has happened before, and it will not necessarily be the case in the future; but the reality is that it is still the same today. News that is unfavorable to real estate has actually been fully exposed in the past two years. Those who want to look down on Hong Kong have had enough time to take action. In their minds, one country, two systems is dead, and of course they should go ahead. However, the market has no shortage of acceptance, and there has been a breakthrough upward trend recently. The performance of the market shows that investors are not worried about the sudden deterioration of Hong Kong’s prospects.

As far as I can see, most of the people who emigrated because China wanted to take back Hong Kong in the 1980s regretted it. There are no fewer people returning than those who have settled locally. The main reasons are unaccustomed life and the lack of development space for relatives and friends in Hong Kong. Both of these situations exist today.

The standard of living in Hong Kong is world-class; you have everything you need to eat, drink and play; you must not be used to moving to a foreign country. Immigrants from other parts of the world have moved from economically backward regions to economically advanced regions; however, Hong Kong’s per capita GDP is already among the best in the world (ranking 14th), which is comparable to European and American countries (Hong Kong’s per capita GDP is higher than that of the United Kingdom). , Canada and New Zealand). Those young people who feel that there is no opportunity for upward mobility in Hong Kong will have fewer opportunities after leaving their hometowns.

One thing that people leaving Hong Kong must pay attention to is that this time Western countries have opened their doors to welcome Hong Kong immigrants, mainly because of political considerations, and there has not been enough consultation and planning among people. In my observations, the grassroots people in many countries do not agree with this, and it will definitely lead to feelings of rejection in the future. Therefore, I am worried that the new wave of immigrants from Hong Kong will not feel as good here as those who emigrated in the 1980s. By then, they will feel that their previous life in Hong Kong is actually not bad, and there must be many people who choose to return to life in Hong Kong in the end.

Under such circumstances, if there is still one floor to live in Hong Kong, it will definitely be much more convenient. Therefore, I suggest that those who plan to immigrate should not sell the property in a hurry; they can move to the place where they plan to immigrate and live for a period of time to see if they can find a livelihood and adapt to the local life; they really feel good about it. It is not too late to decide to sell the property, and there is no need to make a decision just to save tax.

Source: https://www.am730.com.hk/column/news/Should I sell my Hong Kong property before immigrating to another country? -269908

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