Concerns have arisen over the safety of assignees within the region, and whether the ongoing challenges will impact mobility into the country.
However, despite the challenges, Hong Kong today remains a popular destination, with minimal impact to expat assignments.
While the challenges associated with the protests are not over yet, things are getting more settled.
Housing & Living
- People have been speculating downturn since the summer of 2019 for residential markets. Surprisingly the drop does not really show in rental markets, especially for expat-housing. This is because many Landlords are taking the “wait and see” approach these past few months and only a very few are taking the risk of lowering the rent, or even the price for a transaction.
- Demand for housing has not dropped either for two key reasons: land supply is never sufficient in Hong Kong, and many international companies are also taking the “wait and see” approach without repatriating employees early from assignment.
- Now that we have entered January 2020, and while politically things are falling into place, many of our assignees report that they have felt safe these past few months in Hong Kong. They know which neighborhood to avoid during weekends (where there are protests) but overall they are fine, with no concern at all when responding to our Workforce Mobility Counselors check-ins.
- Connection with China geographically has become much stronger and strategic. High-speed rails are in full operation and within 60 minutes, we can commute to most parts of Southern China. This has certainly encouraged more commuters and improved the flow of talent.
- The Hong Kong International Airport is expanding into a three-runway system (3RS) from the existing two-runway system (2RS). This expansion will allow the airport to handle an additional 30 million passengers a year. Its’ scale is almost equivalent to building a new airport next to the existing one.
While the ongoing political demonstrations have impacted life in Hong Kong, the impact to most assignees has been minimal and Hong Kong remains a popular mobility destination.