Foreign talents eligible for up to 90% mortgage in Hong Kong

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1st December 2023 – (Hong Kong) In a recent discussion about the mortgage options available to foreign talents seeking to purchase properties in Hong Kong, it has been revealed that foreign talents enjoy the same mortgage interest rates as local residents, with actual interest rates as low as 4.125 percent. Many people have been wondering whether foreign talents are eligible to apply for a 90% mortgage, and the answer is affirmative.

One of the key considerations for foreign talents looking to buy property in Hong Kong is whether they hold a Hong Kong identity card. Even if they are not permanent residents of Hong Kong, they can still apply for a mortgage based on the existing criteria and conditions of the mortgage insurance scheme. Through this scheme, foreign talents can apply for a 90% mortgage for residential properties valued at HK$10 million or below, provided they meet the existing criteria. These criteria include the property being intended for self-use and the applicant being a salaried individual.

Under the mortgage insurance scheme, non-salaried individuals can still enjoy a high loan-to-value ratio of up to 80%, with the maximum property value capped at HK$15 million. Foreign talents applying for a mortgage in Hong Kong are generally required to provide income-proof documents similar to those required of local residents. These documents typically include recent 3 to 6 months’ salary bank statements, tax returns (for Hong Kong income) or tax payment proof (for income earned outside Hong Kong), and employment proof such as employment contracts or offer letters. Professional qualifications, such as being a lawyer or doctor, can be supported by providing relevant professional certificates.

For self-employed individuals, such as entrepreneurs, additional documents are required, including a business licence, recent year financial statements (for income earned outside Hong Kong), audited reports or financial statements from the past one to two years, and recent 6 months’ bank statements of the company’s accounts.

In cases where borrowers are unable to provide sufficient income proof due to varying employment and financial circumstances, similar to local residents, foreign talents can still apply for a mortgage through an asset-based evaluation approach. However, it is important to note that the loan-to-value ratio for such applications is currently capped at 50%, meaning a minimum down payment of 50%. Accepted asset categories include cash or time deposits, properties (with a focus on Hong Kong properties), stocks, funds, bonds, insurance policies, or other investment products.

Different banks may have varying methods of calculating asset net worth, and the mortgage approval criteria may also differ. Therefore, whether individuals are from mainland China or overseas, it is advisable to consult mortgage brokers to obtain more detailed information before entering the market.