Housing costs in Hong Kong have risen for 15 months straight. Government efforts to curb run-away prices include capping bank loans for property purchases, prompting buyers to turn to unregulated alternate financiers.
Expatriate Tom Moore could hardly have hoped for a better outcome. Around 10 years ago he dipped into Hong Kong's property market and bought a three-bedroom apartment for just under $200,000.
Now he's selling it for more than four times that amount.
"The increase in value is just tremendous. I've been very, very lucky in the process," Moore said.
Housing prices in Hong Kong's roller-coaster property market have risen for 15 consecutive months. Which means people like Tom can benefit from flipping houses; if he can find a credit line to buy a bigger, better place.
However, the government has placed several measures to regulate the housing market, including standard bank loans capped at 60% of property values.
That's where the shadow lenders step in.
TRT World's Diane To explains how the easy money shadow lenders can be blamed for driving property prices even higher.