Transcript of remarks by FS at media session (with video)
Reporter: Mr Chan, so regarding what you said just now, do you think that is it likely there will be a bubble, do you think? And you said that, like, people are irrational here. So can you give more advice and what do you think about the property prices?
Financial Secretary: Well, all I have just said is that the fundamentals of the property market have been changed, both in terms of supply, in the figures that I have cited, and in terms of interest rates. Because of the interest rate normalisation in the US, we expect mortgage interest rates will go up, although the increase in mortgage interest rates may not be immediate, but the trend is quite clear. In terms of affordability, in terms of price level, the current price level of residential property and the current affordability ratio have both been worsened considerably when compared to those in 1997. So I would like to caution any homebuyer. Be vigilant and alert, and really please look at your own financial capability. Don't overstretch yourself, because at this level, if there is any adjustment in the property price, even if it is just 10 per cent, it is talking in the order of at least a million or more. To any family, this is a substantial amount. You don't want to get yourself into a situation of financial hardship.
Reporter: Do you think that there would be likely more, like, what will you do, like Government would do any measures against it in the coming future?
Financial Secretary: It is inappropriate for me in this juncture to say whether or not the Government is going to introduce any measure, the reason being if I answer you positively then the market would take it that the Government is going to do something, so before they do something let's rush into the market. This is the last thing I want. I don't want people to be misled into panic buying. If I tell you that the Government is not prepared to do anything, it is also wrong, because that would be misinterpreted likewise. So please bear with me. The Government is really watching the market very closely and we are very concerned. We have issued, repeatedly, warnings. At this stage, I think I should refrain from commenting on whether the Government is to introduce more measures.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Issued at HKT 22:25
Issued at HKT 22:25
Audio / Video
FS meets the media