Market Updates 未分類

Denzity Insights – Data Centre: Rising Demand (Hong Kong & Asia) with Anthony Wong

Data Centre: Rising Demand (Hong Kong & Asia) with Anthony Wong

In the previous episode, we covered many aspects regarding real estate market research. Today, Anthony will share his insights regarding a different segment: the Hong Kong industrial market and the emerging interest in data centres.

  • Data Centre: Rising Demand 
  • Converting Buildings Into Data Centre
  • Hong Kong Data Centre – the comparative advantage

▶ Connect with Anthony:

  • LinkedIn:

▶ Source & Supporting:

Data Center –

RVD statistics –

Buildings Digest –

Land Sale –


Data Centre: A data centre is an enclosed space where everything related to data is stored and handled inside a mass number of computers, devices through many servers and networks.

5G: 5G is the abbreviation for the 5th generation, which refers to the 5th generation of the mobile or cellular networks.

Land acquisition: It is the process by which the government can take over land or property that is privately owned and utilize it for other purposes, especially for public benefits.

Lease modification: It is the newly made changes in a lease that weren’t initially included in the agreement.

Trunking: Trunking is the method that is used to accumulate multiple networks into a single one.

Town Planning guidelines:

Power Supply: In simple words, it is an electrical device that supplies power.

Personal data ordinance:

Wholesale Conversion:



Grand Ming:

industrial revitalization 2.0:

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Alright, let’s get back to the transcript of the show. Enjoy!


[00:00:00] [00:00:00] Darren Wong: [00:00:00] So Anthony, welcome back again.


[00:00:02] Anthony Wong: [00:00:02] Yeah, thank you. Thank you. It’s good to talk to you again, really.


[00:00:07] Darren Wong: [00:00:07] I mean, we do two shows and stuff like that.

[00:00:07]Darren Wong:[00:00:07]我是說,我們做兩個節目之類的。

[00:00:10] So the previously we’ve done a show just now about the research, for the audience who would be interested in learning how to do


[00:00:20] better research on locally or overseas investments. And then would you mind telling the audience who just jumped in without that context before about yourself? And then the episode before that,


[00:00:30] like, what’s that about?


[00:00:32] Anthony Wong: [00:00:32] So yeah, Hey, guys, everyone. If you haven’t checked out a video with Darren, please do check it out again. We talked about


[00:00:40] how to invest real estate proactively and in-depth. So once again, I’ll introduce myself, I’m Anthony Wong. I’m currently a research manager at Colliers


[00:00:50] International. I have an education background and real estate postgraduate degree, and have work experience in Greater China, US and now in Hong Kong. And I’m happy to give


[00:01:00] a little humble opinion about data centre, because this topic is really changing by the date. So really, can give out whatever I can take,


[00:01:10] and whatever I can get, and give my real estate research perspective on this topic, and pleasure to talk more about it.


[00:01:17] Darren Wong: [00:01:17] Yeah, and for the audience that didn’t check out

[00:01:17]Darren Wong:[00:01:17]是的,對於那些沒有退房的觀眾來說

[00:01:20] the resource episode with you, please check it out. Because I think is a very good way to understand what it takes to learn about different assets. And in terms of how to


[00:01:30] do research and everything like that. And then we decided to do a data centre episode, because it’s something that I mentioned in the previous episodes that a lot of my friends are looking into, it’s a very, very hot


[00:01:40] topic, it’s very exciting. So I’m just very happy that you’re able to be here and share with us. So let’s kickstart right away. Why is data centre segment become


[00:01:50] such a hot topic recently?


[00:01:53] Anthony Wong: [00:01:53] Yeah, I mean, data centre is becoming a hot topic, not just in APAC, but globally. I think it’s because of the

[00:01:53]Anthony Wong:[00:01:53] 是的,我的意思是,資料中心正在成為一個熱門話題,不僅在亞太地區,而且在全球範圍內。我想是因為

[00:02:00] global awareness that in the future, AI and technology and data usage is going to be a huge demand. And on top of that,


[00:02:10] starting even a couple years back, data centres is already a growing kind of real estate sectors and technology sector and APAC region.


[00:02:20] This year with the COVID-19, lots of people are staying home, and they’re starting to be aware of the the demand side of what are the technology they


[00:02:30] can make, use and make leverage up when being at home, working from home either entertainment or working. And also work from home,


[00:02:40] these technologies, how are they shaping their lifestyle, right? So from the management side of these data centres, and from the investment side, it’s really


[00:02:50] changing by the day. So it’s really complex topic. And it’s something real estate practitioners, a lot of them themselves are getting themselves adjusted


[00:03:00] to this sector. And as you know, TikTok just purchased a European data centre in Ireland yesterday, they’re going through a lot of US complications, but

[00:03:00]到這個區域。正如你所知,tick tock昨天剛剛在愛爾蘭購買了一個歐洲資料中心,他們正在經歷許多美國的複雜情况,但是

[00:03:10] they’re still investing quite a lot. And increasing cloud services, 5G implementation, a lot of


[00:03:20] companies and countries and regions are heavily dependent on this technology and will be for a lot of emerging economies. According some of the market projections,


[00:03:30] APAC will have about 13.5 billion network devices, connections by 2023. Now from 8.6 billion in 2018, so that’s 5


[00:03:40] billion of change. And also, the number of internet users will grow from 2018 2.1 billion to 3.1 billion in 2023. So


[00:03:50] the amount of data that’s related to that rusty said, was quite large, something that real estate practitioners who have to get into in the future.


[00:04:00] [00:04:00] Darren Wong: [00:04:00] Yeah. When I was three, four years ago, and then I’ve looked into it because of a friend of mine that was considering that, “hey,

[00:04:00][00:04:00]Darren Wong:[00:04:00]是的。當我三、四年前,因為我的一個朋友在考慮,“嘿,

[00:04:10] should I looking at data centre? Should I convert my building into data centre usage?”, which is coming in the next question, right? What are the requirements to convert a building


[00:04:20] to a data centre usage in Hong Kong, like in terms of like maybe floor loading, fire regulation and cooling? And at the same time is that, how many potential buildings can there be in Hong Kong to be converted?


[00:04:30] And lastly, always most important thing as an investor is that, what is the typical cost per square foot to be convert?


[00:04:40] [00:04:40] Anthony Wong: [00:04:40] Well, those are great questions, but I can’t comment too much on the prices, because it’s far fluctuating on different regions. So even if I give an average

[00:04:40][00:04:40]安東尼·王(Anthony Wong):[00:04:40]好吧,這些都是很好的問題,但我不能對價格做太多評論,因為不同地區的價格波動很大。所以即使我給出一個平均值

[00:04:50] price, it might not reflect the overall data centre market. With the new bredding prices, shocking, just purchased somewhere around, I would say, 4 billion


[00:05:00] Hong Kong dollars for a site in in ShaTin, for data centre site. So, to answer your question, really simply, there’s three ways for data centre,


[00:05:10] real estate usage. One is wholesale conversion; another is land acquisition. And then the last is lease


[00:05:20] modification. I think the easiest pathway would be wholesale conversion, which is simply really the change in the use of parts of its existing building.


[00:05:30] So for example, you have an industrial unit already, how do you convert it with the existing, for example, power lines that is necessitated


[00:05:40] into the unit? What are the location that’s not affecting adjacent surrounding uses. So for wholesale conversion, there’s usually no fee for waiving


[00:05:50] any conditions for the change of use. The data centre takes place in the existing building, which is typically according to the lands department and the


[00:06:00] government regulations has to be 15 years older. And the proposed building has to be zoning, industrial, commercial, and old use or other


[00:06:10] specified uses business quotation. So, this is the easiest way in terms of cost flights. So if you’re able to convert into data centre, good for


[00:06:20] you. You can probably change it and if you are in trunking well, which there’s a lot of trunk lines powered by supporting that location, then there’s a high probability of


[00:06:30] going through that wholesale conversion. Another thing is land acquisition, which is a government land that’s issued for sale for data center. And that


[00:06:40] is usually a shootout in the lands department. And so, it’s usually a government site and from a land sale programme, stipulating data centres that what type of


[00:06:50] uses back can the investors have the buyers are able to purchase and really


[00:07:00] depends what location it is and where it is too. And the last one is lease modification. As we develop, so for example, you have an old


[00:07:10] industrial building in Kwai Tsing, for example, which is really hot for data centres right now, how do you redevelop into higher data centres. There’s also regulations. So


[00:07:20] for example, the data centre portion of the redevelopment should be at least 40% assessed based on the


[00:07:30] overall GFA. And another consideration is that the redevelopment has to take place on industrial block. So really, you have to look


[00:07:40] through the Town Planning guidelines that outlines zoning plans, look in the land lease and see what the specifications. And as investor, most of all,


[00:07:50] you need to consider land premium. And that is subjective based on your location and what type of data centre you’re issuing. And what kind of company, are you an overseas


[00:08:00] company, local company? And how long are you proposing this development site for? So these are typically the three pathways to


[00:08:10] go about on data centres development.


[00:08:12] Darren Wong: [00:08:12] I see. I assume that the electrical power grid will affect the potential probability of it. Is there any

[00:08:12]Darren Wong:[00:08:12]我明白了。我假設電網會影響它的潜在概率。有嗎

[00:08:20] difference between, for example, the Hong Kong Island side and Kowloon side? And if so, is there any preference? Do companies normally do both or one of them?


[00:08:30] [00:08:30] Anthony Wong: [00:08:30] Yeah, that’s a good question. I’m not electrician, so I can’t comment the specifications of my research. I’ve read a


[00:08:40] lot about the macro side data centre, but digging down to the technicality, it’s a really complicated topic, which requires


[00:08:50] people with a substantial engineering background. So I’ll give you my two cents on it. I would say, in Hong Kong, really broadly, these principles are


[00:09:00] having reliable power supply. So for example, 99% reliability is really, really high. So specification, you can also look up into the guidelines


[00:09:10] from Hong Kong government website, and also the Hong Kong, low electricity cost is really what is attracting a lot of investors coming to Hong Kong,


[00:09:20] developing data centres, because the fact that Hong Kong is not only reliable, but these data centres are requiring huge amount of


[00:09:30] electricity usages on a daily basis. So you need to find locations that could support that, for example, you have to have a development that is on the trunk line, or the electricity line or power


[00:09:40] station that is able to support the data center development. Now having a lot of network connectivity, and Hong Kong is a good place, because its climate is relatively stable. So you


[00:09:50] don’t have really substantial typhoons that could tore down these electrical lines of buildings, though there is still risk out there. But we also don’t


[00:10:00] have the risk of earthquakes, such as Japan, such as some parts of Taiwan and places like that. So I think


[00:10:10] another thing of Hong Kong really that we talked about, and the Hong Kong data centre landscape is data protection, which is a lot of people are concerning, because the


[00:10:20] personal data ordinance, which is issued by the Hong Kong government protects personal data. And there’s a lot of controversy surrounding it because of the new NSL


[00:10:30] that’s coming in. But, this is still really, really attractive because of whether whatever happens, data is always going to be important, especially in a populated area,


[00:10:40] like South China, Hong Kong, Greater Bay Area. So I think it’s definitely, in terms of geographical region wise, [00:10:50] currently, I think Tseung Kwan O has a really good foundation for data centres because of its strong existing infrastructure.


[00:11:00] But you can look at emerging locations like Lok Ma Chau, Tuen Mun, that are actually gained attraction in terms of infrastructure building into the catering


[00:11:10] these data centres. So these will progressively be issued out by the government in terms of when these infrastructure could be built.


[00:11:18] Darren Wong: [00:11:18] I see. That’s very informative, by the way,

[00:11:18]Darren Wong:[00:11:18]我明白了。順便說一句,這信息量很大,

[00:11:20] thank you so much, because you cover a lot of ground: what’s most important about data centre, and why is there, and why isn’t there. So we talked about this before.


[00:11:30] Singapore and Guangzhou are very popular right now, where data centre type of assets, right? What’s the overall landscape in Asia? And how is Hong Kong positioned?


[00:11:40] And at the same time, who are the major players globally in the region?


[00:11:46] Anthony Wong: [00:11:46] Yeah, for sure. I think, to


[00:11:50] answer the global players first, you have Equinix, Global Switch, these are really, really large global companies. In Hong

[00:11:50]首先回答全球玩家,你有Econoks,global Switch,這些都是非常非常大的全球性公司。在香港

[00:12:00] Kong, you have Sunevision, which is owned by Sun Hung Kai, I believe, correct me if I’m wrong, but this Sunevision is a big


[00:12:10] data centre operator that supports a lot of high tech IOT stuff in Hong Kong. So these are the local market periods. You have


[00:12:20] Grand Ming as well, which is also a semi local market player. Hong Kong is well positioned geographically, because it’s close to


[00:12:30] China. And China requires a lot of, for example, international data transporting hub, and Hong Kong can act as an intermediary, just like a financial hub, because


[00:12:40] data in the future is going to worth a lot of money as well. So Hong Kong is geographically advantageous. But yes, it is competing with Singapore, as you talked about.


[00:12:50] Singapore is the gateway to Southeast Asia. And it has some advantages: robust data privacy regulation, arguably stronger than Hong Kong.


[00:13:00] But Hong Kong does have that geographical advantage. Singapore in some way does edge Hong Kong a little bit in terms of the internet speed,


[00:13:10] because they have existing a little more robust infrastructure. And also, Singapore has more lenient


[00:13:20] land supply towards the sector. So they’re more willing for the market players to bring in more investment, because they’re all given a lot of land. I think a


[00:13:30] shortage of land supply in Hong Kong can be a problem, and has been a problem in the past. But Hong Kong government and various other consulting agencies are foreseeing


[00:13:40] a new document issuing, you have heard about in the policy address budget report yesterday, that industrial revitalization 2.0, that is going to be


[00:13:50] a positive factor in terms of issuing more land for industrial and high tech and for these startups to prosper. So, yes, we are


[00:14:00] in a tricky platform. But I think once these conflicts, such as the US trade war, COVID,


[00:14:10] and everything settles down, I think Hong Kong will emerge even stronger because of the geographical location. And the existing strong infrastructure, as we mentioned about the


[00:14:20] electricity supply, the amount of human capital that can support this kind of industry.


[00:14:29] Darren Wong: [00:14:29] I see. That’s

[00:14:29]Darren Wong:[00:14:29]我明白了。那是

[00:14:30] interesting thinking about as grand scheme of thing, the geographical location, not only financial, it seems like even for the data side, the industrial side, it still have a


[00:14:40] benefit of it. And then I was planning to ask you more about the Guangzhou and Hong Kong relationship in terms of the data centre side. Would you mind to have some opinion on that?


[00:14:51] [00:14:50] Anthony Wong: [00:14:51] So Guangzhou and Hong Kong? Yeah, for sure. So, Hong Kong currently, in the north of Hong Kong, if you go through the


[00:15:00] border between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, there’s a place called Lok Ma Chau. So, not much always close to Hong Kong and Mainland China border, which is


[00:15:10] desirable for tech companies just across the border like Tencent, Baidu, Huawei, DJI, which is drone company. So there’s currently proposed 87


[00:15:20] hector of Hong Kong Shenzhen innovation and technology park at Lok Ma Chau, specifically catered towards R&D and technology, and startup incubators. So this kind of development will


[00:15:30] likely push even greater demand for data centres because of technology companies that are able to leverage upon Hong


[00:15:40] Kong because Tencent, we still don’t have a really popular usage of alipay and WeChat Pay in Hong Kong, we’re still relying on HSBC payme, right?


[00:15:50] So, when I was working in China, all these financial payment platforms, almost no one uses


[00:16:00] cash anymore. If you even go to rural areas, everyone except WeChat Pay, so you can tell how much of that financial data is really valuable and how much in relation back to data centres,


[00:16:10] how much that is indeed in need. And I would say another place in Hong Kong, not bordering China is


[00:16:20] Tuen Mun. It is a very strategic location, the link between Chek Lap Kok and Tuen Mun that is supposed to be completed in 2020. This will create a lot of long term


[00:16:30] development opportunities, giving a lot more opportunities, long term growth, because it’s close to the airport, which is an International Airport. So


[00:16:40] anywhere of these transportation hubs like borders and places with strong trunk lines and safe places


[00:16:50] in terms of geographically safe, stable climate wise, it’s a good place, and Hong Kong is at the right place of having that geographical


[00:17:00] and infrastructure advantage.


[00:17:01] Darren Wong: [00:17:01] I see. So what are typical yield on data centre compared to traditional industrial building? And how long the lease contract and

[00:17:01]Darren Wong:[00:17:01]我明白了。那麼,與傳統工業建築相比,資料中心的典型收益率是多少?租賃合同和

[00:17:10] operators are typical for? Lastly, what’s the trend over on the demand for data centre in those regard? And do you think that the next 5 to 10 years,


[00:17:20] it’s going to be good? What would you think of that?


[00:17:24] Anthony Wong: [00:17:24] Yeah, so the yield of the data centre is it’s about

[00:17:24]Anthony Wong:[00:17:24]是的,所以資料中心的收益是

[00:17:30] traditionally, it’s been about three 3.5%. It’s approaching 4%, because rents are really leveraging itself, which the yield is actually higher than


[00:17:40] grade A offices in Hong Kong, which is about a high 2%. So it makes an attractive investment, because we can have greater returns and


[00:17:50] typically more stable yields. Because usually, these contracts of the data centres, the leases range from 8 to 10 years or more, because you


[00:18:00] have really expensive equipment being shipped into these sites, right? So these racks, and usually these leases are longer because you want to protect these equipment


[00:18:10] longer and able to operate longer in a specific location and move to a different location, and there might be a lot of problem as well. So usually typical


[00:18:20] tenants like to stay in a data center longer. So that creates more of a stable yield, not just high yield, stable but high yield. And rents have been progressively going up, for


[00:18:30] example, this year, year-on-year has already gone up 5 to 10%, and depending on which region, right? So it is exciting. To answer where is the demand or where is the future trend going? There’s a lot of trend that is propelling the sector. And when you look at the COVID induced remote office solutions, and cloud computing, a lot of companies are willing for the employee to work from home or


[00:18:40] on


[00:18:50] a rotational basis. I think Hong


[00:19:00] Kong, work from home is not going to be as impacted. For example, that notion is not going to come back. But for example.


[00:19:10] Places like San Francisco, which is tech, and in some places, you’re gonna drive an hour to your office. In Hong Kong, transportation still really convenient. So remote


[00:19:20] solutions in other areas that requires more working, transporting time will be really, really useful.


[00:19:30] As we talked about the MNC corporates and these high tech companies will obviously be at the forefront of


[00:19:40] driving this data centre use because of their data data demand. Another thing is online and retail e-commerce that’s been going on in 5 to


[00:19:50] 20 years almost, since Amazon came in and I think consumer demand is increasing and shifting towards online shopping. And retail should invest in online shopping


[00:20:00] platforms, and enhancing, for example, different distribution strategies. And these kind of online shopping requires a lot of


[00:20:10] data use as well. And data centre creates a really kind of roadmap for these different online shops can, as an intermediary, to give information for


[00:20:20] consumers and the owners themselves. And last but most, I think, data centre, it is emerging. But even further than


[00:20:30] that, there has to be more of a green and sustainable data centre development coming into play. As you know, data centre, as we talked


[00:20:40] about previously, data centres is really energy intensive. It provides a lot of power, and it consume a lot of energy. So


[00:20:50] the large operators, actually right now, like international operators, like Equinix, Equinix, has actually adopted renewable practice by using


[00:21:00] a lot of their electricity supply from renewable energies like solar power, wind power. They actually committed and a lot of companies will be


[00:21:10] following that, especially with the ESG and the post-COVID trend of environmental awareness, these companies are actually trying to achieve the 100%


[00:21:20] efficiency in terms of renewable energy. On top of that, you have a really great policy platform, such as the UN 2030


[00:21:30] sustainable agenda, ESG guidelines, as we talked about, which will even push these companies to go for renewable energy that is sustaining data centres. So I see


[00:21:40] this as a future pathway and how data centre is developed.


[00:21:44] Darren Wong: [00:21:44] And that’s very, very good. I think that’s a very good way to

[00:21:44]Darren Wong:[00:21:44]非常非常好。我覺得這是個很好的方法

[00:21:50] summarise too. There’s so many questions popping up in my head right away, but I’ll leave it for asking you on your profile and for Denzity profile and everything and more and more. And then so for people who might


[00:22:00] want to know more about this segment and the previous episode of research and so on, what are couple ways that people can find you, know more about you and your work?


[00:22:09] Anthony Wong: [00:22:09] Yeah,


[00:22:10] for sure. So, we have published a data centre report in April so even go on google and type in data centre, future landscape data centre


[00:22:20] specifically and you type it in and type in Colliers International. We actually did a 14-page report specifically analysing locally based in Hong Kong, where to invest in data


[00:22:30] centre. We have a strong research and evaluation team, if you’re more interested and have investment thoughts or just curious about this


[00:22:40] sector, feel free to just take a look at the document or reach me out, or reach our company, some of the representative. But my email is


[00:22:50] Make use of those reports and give you a perspective on where our data centres moving towards. And then we give a lot of insights, how not only Hong Kong itself and how our


[00:23:00] international forces like we talked about Singapore, how are we competing with our competitors? So, do feel free to reach out via my email address


[00:23:10] or take a look at our reports.

[00:23:10] 或者看看我們的報告。

[00:23:13] Darren Wong: [00:23:13] That’s great. Obviously, as I said before, I’ll have everything in the show notes. And I want to say thank you so much. Thanks for sharing

[00:23:13]Darren Wong:[00:23:13]太好了。很明顯,就像我之前說的,我會把所有的東西都寫在節目筆記裏。我非常感謝你。謝謝分享

[00:23:20] with us. And then I, even myself personally, I learned a lot through your sharing. And then hopefully, you can come back for round two, because, just alone, I’m sure if I come to the next


[00:23:30] segment, let’s say, in the future maybe retail or office or anything big changes, your one of the first person I’ll talk to see, hey, Anthony, just come on board, round two again. So thanks


[00:23:40] a lot for your time and effort. Because it’s something that like I care about is that people know more about what’s going on, and niche market that data centre, industrial, different sections of it,


[00:23:50] too. We can cover that in the future. So thanks a lot again.


[00:23:52] Anthony Wong: [00:23:52] Yeah, for sure. It’s my pleasure. This sector is changing quite a lot. So for sure, the next time we chat about it, we’re going to see new


[00:24:00] exciting things coming in, for example, the transaction by TikTok, yesterday, it was quite exciting. So it’s a very exciting topic to talk about. And thanks for having me here. For sure.


[00:24:09] Darren Wong: [00:24:09] Okay,

[00:24:09]Darren Wong:[00:24:09]好的,

[00:24:10] thank you. See you next time, then. Thank you.


[00:24:12] Anthony Wong: [00:24:12] Yeah, for sure, have a good one. Take care. Bye bye.


[00:24:14] Darren Wong: [00:24:14] Bye.

[00:24:14]Darren Wong:[00:24:14]再見。

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2020 is a challenging year for global investors. While no country can avoid the pandemic’s economic downturn, the prospects of Vietnam real estate remain positive and are the brightest among Asian countries. This article highlights 5 crucial factors driving foreign buyers’ interest in this rising Southeast Asian country.

1. Growing economy
2020 is a challenging year for global investors. But Vietnam has received international praise for its efficient and effective response to the COVID-19 outbreak. While no country can avoid the pandemic’s economic downturn, the prospects of Vietnam real estate remain optimistic and are the brightest among Asian countries. Data released by the General Statistics Office of Vietnam estimated a 1.81 percent growth to Vietnam’s GDP in the first half of 2020. The estimation is encouraging as Vietnam is one of the few countries that achieved positive growth during the pandemic.

2. Foreigners friendly policy
It used to be very difficult for foreigners to own property in Vietnam. But now, thanks to the Vietnamese government’s support, buying a property in Vietnam has become easier for foreigners. Since 2015, foreigners can purchase as many real estate units as they want, provided that they do not buy more than 30 percent of the units in each new residential project. Foreigners are also allowed to use and control the land they lease with a leasehold period of up to 50-70 years. If you want to find out more details, speak to a Vietnam real estate expert to find more.

3. Improved infrastructure
The urban development in Vietnam has been a miracle, and the Vietnamese government is very supportive. Various expressway projects are being planned or under construction to improve connectivity within major cities. For example, the North-South expressway is a Vietnamese expressway running from Hanoi to Cần Thơ. It has been described as Vietnam’s future transport foundation. The expressway will be 1,941 km long, with a total cost estimate of US$18.5 billion. Meanwhile, with rapid urbanization, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh are building rapid transit systems in the hope of reducing private vehicle ownership and improving air quality. The ambitious infrastructure plan will undoubtedly bring many benefits to the Vietnam real estate market.

4. Affordable prices
The good thing about Vietnam is that it is a fast-growing country. In Vietnam, home prices are considered very affordable compared to traditional property hotspots such as Hong Kong and Singapore. The average price of apartments in Hanoi is estimated to be US$1,493 per sq. m. in Q2 2020. Despite rising prices, Vietnam’s luxury apartments seem like an attractive deal for wealthy investors who used to sky-high prices back home or in countries like Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong.

5. Offer great yields
Rental yield is the return on investment in percent (%) when comparing the property’s current value to the rental income. In Vietnam, yields can reach up to 6%-8%, especially in popular areas. According to multiple sources, Hanoi offers the greatest yields compared to other cities. Thanks to its strategic location, the capital is becoming extremely popular among the Asian real estate community. Flying to Hanoi takes you less than 2 hours from Hong Kong and about 5 hours from Shanghai. Real estate experts also expect property rental yields to further rise in the future as demand increases.

Want to buy property in Vietnam? Reach out to a trusted real estate community for more information!

Market Updates 未分類

Top 4 Cities In Vietnam To Watch in 2021

Vietnam is becoming Asia’s latest property hotspot.

Top 4 Cities In Vietnam To Watch in 2021

Vietnam is booming! Forget about the traditional real estate hotspots like Hong Kong and Singapore. Vietnam is becoming Asia’s latest property hotspot. In 2015, Vietnam opened up to foreign real estate investors, and it has become one of the hottest topics among the real estate community ever since. Currently, foreigners can purchase as many real estate units as they want, provided that they do not buy more than 30 percent of the units in each new residential project.

With a relatively strong economy (data released by the General Statistics Office of Vietnam estimated a 1.81 percent growth to Vietnam’s GDP in the first half of 2020. The numbers are promising as Vietnam is one of few countries that achieved positive growth during the pandemic) and an ambitious infrastructure plan. The property market in Vietnam is enticing and offers excellent yields.

For newbies, you may have heard of Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. But Vietnam is more than that. In this article, we’ll introduce 4 cities that you should pay attention to in 2021.


Hanoi is the country’s capital and the second-largest city. It is also the cultural and industrial centre. Life in Hanoi is very enchanting for those who love to explore Vietnamese history and culture. The city retains its Old Quarter, which features very distinctive Vietnamese architecture and tradition. Meanwhile, Hanoi is where embassies, start-ups, and NGOs locate, which increases the size of the rental market. The average price of apartments in Hanoi is estimated to be US$1,493 per sq. m. in Q2 2020. Despite rising prices, Hanoi’s luxury apartments seem like an attractive deal for wealthy investors from regions like Hong Kong and mainland China. Thanks to its strategic location, flying to Hanoi takes you less than 2 hours from Hong Kong and about 5 hours from Shanghai.

Ho Chi Minh City

Being the largest city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is praised as Vietnam’s economic hub. It has attracted the largest expats because it is the largest financial and economic hub in the country. The rapid growth of the population increases the demand for apartments. For years, Ho Chi Minh City led Vietnam in terms of FDI attraction. In 2017, there were 7,494 projects issued with valid investment certificates, accounting for 13.9% of the country’s total FDI. Ho Chi Minh City has 11 industrial zones with a total area of more than 1,700 hectares; practically anything of business significance happening in Vietnam goes through Ho Chi Minh City. Real estate experts believe the real estate market of Ho Chi Minh City will remain strong in the coming years.

Nha Trang
Looking for luxury holiday flats? Nha Trang is for you! Being the coastal area of central Vietnam, the economy of Nha Trang rises significantly. Nha Trang is well known for its beaches and scuba diving and has developed into a popular destination for international visitors. While the tourism industry is greatly affected by the pandemic, it will bounce back as Vietnam has received international praise for its efficient and effective response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Nha Trang is the city to watch in 2021!

Da Nang

In 2017, Da Nang was chosen to host the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, a sign to show its importance to the country. Da Nang is only hours away from significant domestic and foreign markets such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, China and India, making a favourable destination for foreign real estate investment. According to real estate experts, the most popular properties for foreign investors in Da Nang are high-end resorts, hotels and beachfront villas.

Market Updates 未分類

Denzity Insights: Real Estate Research Like A Pro With Anthony Wong

Real Estate Research Like A Pro With Anthony Wong

Conducting proper research can be key to a successful real estate investment as it has a huge role to play in several ways. That’s why it is important to know where and how to get the correct information since data is often inaccessible to many. Therefore, we decided to cover this topic with Anthony Wong, a real estate research expert.

  • Methods & sources that investors should leverage
  • The process of assessing the different type of projects
  • When conducting research in emerging market

▶ Connect with Anthony:


▶ Source & Supporting:


Colliers International:

Real Capital Analytics:

Buildings Department:

Data Centre: A data centre is an enclosed space where everything related to data is stored and handled inside mass number of computers, devices through many servers and networks.

APR: APR or annual percentage rate is the percentage of the amount that the borrower needs to pay to the lender per year.

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This disclaimer informs readers/audience that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text/video belong solely to the author & participant, and not necessarily to the participant’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual. 

As it can be difficult to catch some minor errors, transcripts may contain a few typos or inaccuracies.

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Alright, let’s get back to the transcript of the show. Enjoy!


Anthony Wong_ep24

[00:00:00] [00:00:00] Darren Wong: [00:00:00] Well, Anthony, welcome to the show.

[00:00:00][00:00]Darren Wong:[00:00:00]好吧,安東尼,歡迎收看節目。

[00:00:04]Anthony Wong: [00:00:04] Hi, it’s a pleasure to be here.


[00:00:06] Darren Wong: [00:00:06] Yeah. So, I think we met a couple months ago

[00:00:06]Darren Wong:[00:00:06]是的。我想我們幾個月前見過面

[00:00:10] through our friend Gary from a RealInflo. And then I remember when we talked about having the show, and then your background is very good


[00:00:20] because our show is about helping audiences to learn about how to make better judgement, and better-informed decisions when it comes to real estate investing. So, if someone from your background have


[00:00:30] the knowledge professionally, and have a very broad view of different location, how to think about investment is something that I’m really happy that you’re here to share with everyone here.


[00:00:40] [00:00:40] Anthony Wong: [00:00:40] Yeah, certainly. I mean, it’s a pleasure, get to know to Gary, who actually worked in my company before he came in and did a little


[00:00:50] presentation and modelling about his business line, RealInflo. If you haven’t checked out it, it’s a real estate platform, basically an extract of different real estate


[00:01:00] information, combining every data platform into one. Yeah, to start off with I’ve given introduction of myself. I’m Anthony Wong. I’m currently a research


[00:01:10] manager at Colliers International. My education is that I have a master’s degree in real estate development. And previously, I’ve worked in China, and US


[00:01:20] and now in Hong Kong. And I’ve worked in developers, which is client side and the consultancy side. I’ve also worked in several smaller startup side projects


[00:01:30] previously, when I was interning during my university. So, for my current role, my responsibilities include writing research reports, managing


[00:01:40] database, as well as supporting a local team to execute client projects. So, every single quarter, as you know, there’s four quarters a year, and we have to produce


[00:01:50] four reports per year, including retail, industrial, office and capital markets. So, one of the more interesting projects, which we’ll talk in a later


[00:02:00] episode is that data centre, we’ve recently published a research radar report on data centre market in Hong Kong, about smart technology, IOTs,


[00:02:10] and how that is driving demand of higher data usage and what kind of sectors is changing in the upcoming years because it is gaining a lot attraction. And


[00:02:20] we’ll talk more about that in terms of industrial conversion, development, acquisition in the later chapter. But I’m happy to talk about my experience background. And now go back to you, Darren.


[00:02:30] [00:02:30] Darren Wong: [00:02:30] Yeah, well, thanks for sharing because, I think when we prepping the show, and then you talked about we start with having one episode about how to do a better research, how

[00:02:30][00:02:30]Darren Wong:[00:02:30]是的,謝謝你的分享,因為,我想當我們準備節目的時候,你說我們從一集開始講如何做更好的研究,怎麼做

[00:02:40] to understand about investing overseas or locally. And then you mentioned data centre, where same time is that a lot of my friends are looking to data centre to invest or look into how to


[00:02:50] restructure it, which that’s why we dedicated for two different episodes for this. So, let’s start with the research side, because I think the information is interesting. So, for the


[00:03:00] audience who might not be familiar, would you mind explaining what a real estate researcher does? And what a typical day would be?


[00:03:07] Anthony Wong: [00:03:07] Yeah, for sure. I mean, in real estate

[00:03:07] Anthony Wong: [00:03:07]當然可以。我是說,在房地產領域

[00:03:10] research, you really get touch upon in different areas of things, not only just in real estate, you have to understand economics, stock market,


[00:03:20] interest rates, all kinds of stuff. So, you have to be really, really aware of what’s happening in the economy, and everywhere, basically. So typically, I start off my day with reading

[00:03:20] 利率,各種各樣的東西。所以,你必須真正地,真正地意識到經濟中正在發生的事情,以及所有地方,基本上。所以我通常從閱讀開始我的一天

[00:03:30] a lot of market news, like Bloomberg, Routers, SCMP, HKEJ, or even local news like that, just to get a sense of how the economy is doing that


[00:03:40] day or that quarter or that month. And after just reading news off it, it really depends what kind of project I’m working on. For example, in the


[00:03:50] past quarter, we published four quarterly reports, if you haven’t checked out, go to our Colliers International website, and it has the four sectors indicating


[00:04:00] how the market is doing. So yes, the four core markets we talked about is office, retail, industrial and capital markets. For office, it’s really, for us,


[00:04:10] as a researcher, every single month, we have to go through monthly meetings without brokers to understand how the rental changes are doing,


[00:04:20] what are the tenancy arrangements, what the vacancy rates, who are moving in and out of these new leases. For example, in Central and core areas in the past couple of


[00:04:30] months, seeing a lot of changes because of the trade wars, the COVID-19, all that kind of market turbulence going on. So really keeping


[00:04:40] close intact with the brokers, with the market players is really important on our daily flow. In terms of retail side, yes, you have


[00:04:50] to get in close touch with the brokers, but not only that, you have to do a lot of self-research. So, for me recently, I published retail reports. We have to


[00:05:00] understand retail sales, we have to understand exports, imports, where are the sort of goods coming in, and how are the vacancy rates responding to


[00:05:10] that. And also understanding incoming travellers, visitor travellers demand, when you look at it, almost 70 to 80%, back then all the travellers are from Mainland China,


[00:05:20] so they buy a lot of luxury goods. But now the trends are changing, it’s more like necessities, supermarkets are doing really well. No longer luxurious goods are doing well in the market right now. So


[00:05:30] really being able to, and that’s why going back to the point reading market means understanding how the economy is going and reflected a research report. Industrial, as I talked about, it’s going through a


[00:05:40] lot of changes as well. As you know, as a lot of people do know the supplies really limited. It’s not as substantial as


[00:05:50] residential, where there’s a high demand, but industrial is going to go through a big change in terms of the higher demand for data centres, the higher demand for higher


[00:06:00] quality industrial buildings, and a better location in support of that. And lastly but not, capital markets. That used to be one of the largest revenues [00:06:10] stream and consultancies, really trying to find big buyers. I mean, you can buy a billion dollar, a


[00:06:20] billion-dollar transaction and be a broker, and in between, you can get a big commission and back, it gives the companies a big portion of revenue during good times.


[00:06:30] But in tougher times, it’s tougher. So, the capital markets right now we’re really trying to help them to find distressed assets. Selling, advising our capital markets team to


[00:06:40] advise the clients where to buy properties. Hotel sector is a good one, because hotel is really having really low APR rate. So, giving them a really


[00:06:50] good perspective and good direction in terms of how they deal with their clients and giving them a lot of resources is what I do on a daily basis. And I’m


[00:07:00] really happy to be part of the team and giving support our various brokers team.


[00:07:05] Darren Wong: [00:07:05] it sounds like a lot, a lot of reading and understanding. Because not only there you are being an

[00:07:05]Darren Wong:[00:07:05]聽起來有很多,很多閱讀和理解。因為你不僅在那裡

[00:07:10] economist, you’re being on the ground, talking to someone like broker in the forefront, and then you have to keep learning every single day. And not only real estate, right? Because real estate is a


[00:07:20] big, big sector, but then the ecosystem with stocks, equity, debt, there’s so many neurons that you have to juggle with. And obviously, like not all the audience


[00:07:30] had the luxury that they can sit down and learn about these things every single day. But then it seems like it’s good to have someone like you to weave out and say, “hey, let’s make something very simple, ABCD,


[00:07:40] how to do it,” and then maybe, in the future, you become a researcher, you can do a lot more of that. So, being in the professional firms, what are some sources of knowledge that you can access


[00:07:50] to, which the audience might not gain access? Or have a harder time to have those knowledges?


[00:07:57] Anthony Wong: [00:07:57] Yeah, for sure. I mean, as a researcher, we


[00:08:00] do you have access to certain amount of knowledge that the public don’t have. But actually, majority of the resources that we do get is actually free to the public, and


[00:08:10] just that the public are not aware of it. So, for example, besides our internal database, which we support our rentals


[00:08:20] and vacancy every single month, for our office grade A brokerage team, which we provide different kinds of data. Yes, that is really kind of hard, difficult to


[00:08:30] retrieve because we manage our in-house database. But on top of that, things like land supply, land tender sells, those are all available in the market, for example, in the


[00:08:40] lands apartment, you can go on the land sale section, and there’s different kinds of land tender documents, and you can look at different past bidders who bid at the land,


[00:08:50] and what are the sort of trajectory. For example, most recently, there’s a lot of Chinese buyers, as you know, China Mobile just purchased an industrial site in ShaTin, a couple more sites


[00:09:00] in Tuen Mun that various other Chinese companies. Understanding they’re not out there, but you just have to dig deeper into these websites. And


[00:09:10] another one is, if you have a piece of land, for example, investor, where do you go about to start up beside higher concern? Before you do due diligence, you can go on planning


[00:09:20] department about outline zoning plan portal, which kind of shows you what are the limitations, restrictions regarding that area, for example, building heights, for example,


[00:09:30] zoning, for example, how many GFP that’s allowed. Plot ratio, that’s a good one. Really, it’s really available out there, but it’s really finding the sources. Another


[00:09:40] resource and knowledge that I gained access to, which a lot of people have heard of, is Real Capital Analytics. And that’s a subscription platform we do. And it’s mainly in


[00:09:50] support of various valuation teams that we do have. And also capital markets team, for example, understanding what the recent transactions. What are the transactions that went over 4


[00:10:00] billion dollars, for example, and what kind of market we are going for that specific lump sum or what the client is requesting. Another free


[00:10:10] platform, RCA, obviously, the one I talked about requires a sign up and you got to pay for it. But another free platform, I would say it’s really looking at the


[00:10:20] rating evaluation department, which they have a popping market statistics. We have all kinds of resources out there that could show you the trajectory of the


[00:10:30] rental and capital value market flow. Another one is also the Buildings Department, if you want to look at the go-to-completion where the


[00:10:40] progress instead of going on site and actually check out what’s going on. Actually, buildings apartments show you what are the progress in the development by telling you


[00:10:50] what kind of structure phase they are in. So, I think really this be resourceful. A lot of information is for your benefit, and the government do a really good job in terms of maintaining it. It’s really going


[00:11:00] out there and find it and really have a strong, and maintain your own database, for example, what kind of sectors you’re going for, maintain it and have your own database in terms of going forward. I’m sure different


[00:11:10] consultancies have different database, of course, but generally, they should be consistent in terms of the objectives supporting their local teams or their investment.


[00:11:18] Darren Wong: [00:11:18] I see. I think

[00:11:18]Darren Wong:[00:11:18]我明白了。我想

[00:11:20] there’s a cool idea that was just in my head is that, in the end of this whole show, what we can do is to have some links, and some kind of guidance to people where they can find these data. And even the


[00:11:30] report you said just now about what you have issued recently, and so on, put them all on the show notes. The other cool idea, I mean, there are a lot of times


[00:11:40] because I used to be working in the real estate fund, and there are reports that we know where the reports are. But a lot of people, let’s say for the audience that might not be familiar real estate, just don’t know where to go. So, I think that


[00:11:50] even though having this kind of episode, pointing out, and then having those kinds of things in the show notes to tell people where they can get, is kind of useful. So just like what you said, there


[00:12:00] are a lot of different information and methods and sources, right? What kind of audience should leverage and then use it when it conducts market research analysis easily at the [00:12:10] moment?


[00:12:12] Anthony Wong: [00:12:12] Yeah, what I talked about leveraging is really about being resourceful. So what I talked about previously, besides some of the

[00:12:12]Anthony Wong:[00:12:12]是的,我所說的杠杆作用實際上是關於足智多謀。所以我之前說的,除了一些

[00:12:20] sources that I’ve mentioned previously, is really interacting closely with, as a researcher really, interacting closely with


[00:12:30] local brokers and consulting agents, and getting deeper insight in terms of, besides these data from this information, what is the story behind driving these data?


[00:12:40] For example, if the yields are coming down, or the capital values are going up, what is the reason behind it? Is it because


[00:12:50] buyers are withholding the asset price, at the same time the flexible lowering the rental prices? There’s all kinds of a trajectory that


[00:13:00] explained the underlying story behind those numbers. Really kind of doing both qualitative, which I talked about interacting with the people on ground, and


[00:13:10] quantitative, which is getting the information from the platform. And what kind of storyline and what kind of trajectory, what kind of POV you giving into


[00:13:20] your research reports, and your local brokers team and your local valuation team? And I think there’s a lot of specific indicators out there: GDP,


[00:13:30] employment market stock prices. These are great. But there’s got to be some relation back to the real estate market. What is the story telling?


[00:13:37] Darren Wong: [00:13:37] I see.

[00:13:37]Darren Wong:[00:13:37]我明白了。

[00:13:40] Would you mind explaining and providing a walkthrough on a process of different kinds of projects that you can start with, like you found on project new-built and second hand


[00:13:50] assets. Because I think it’d be good idea to give people a framework and say, hey, if you’re looking for deployment project, this is the framework pretty easily how to find resources and maybe new built and see


[00:14:00] second hand assets.


[00:14:02] Anthony Wong: [00:14:02] Yeah, I think they’re quite different in terms of new development,

[00:14:02]Anthony Wong:[00:14:02]是的,我認為他們在新的發展方面是完全不同的,

[00:14:10] development project, new buildings, secondhand asset. They’re managed by different investors, different operators, sometimes in private equity they you do it all.


[00:14:20] But I think development project, I think you start off with, well, I’m a researcher myself, so I’m going to give you a researcher POV, not from a developer


[00:14:30] view. So, as I talked about, really go through the lands department seeing one of the attendant notices by the lands that have been issued by the government right now.


[00:14:40] Being aware of the policy address, the budget reports, sometimes they talk about, oh, we are aiming, for example, this year, we’re aiming for


[00:14:50] 80,000 residential units that’s being injected into the market. And obviously, realistic speaking, how much of that is actually being injected, how much of a goal, so you can analyse


[00:15:00] that in the past historical performance and see, okay, just because the government said 90,000, actually, in the past, there’s only half that’s been issued for it because of different restrictions


[00:15:10] and time delays and development projects. So, understanding a market from these public platforms, I think newbuilt same as development


[00:15:20] project, look at the buildings department, look at the construction timeline, we, a lot of consulting firms manage their own


[00:15:30] supply pipeline. So, when it will see when are the buildings being completed. That’s really, really important. And see when is a timing coming in, where’s


[00:15:40] the liquidity going? I think, in terms of second-hand asset, that ranges quite a lot. It’s really about the


[00:15:50] investment side, and the investment side of second-hand asset, is really about knowing your market links. For example, in the capital markets team, it’s really


[00:16:00] knowing in depth connections that could lead you to some lucrative transactions. And as a researcher, we just have to analyse what are the great


[00:16:10] transactions in the past, and how that reflects the value of that specific client is buying. So, we give as much information as we


[00:16:20] can in the second-hand asset market and let them decide where are the good project to go for some transaction?


[00:16:28] Darren Wong: [00:16:28] I guess [00:16:30] that’s pretty informative as people framework how to think about it. So, when we met up a couple months ago, and I think that we talked about your

[00:16:28]Darren Wong:[00:16:28]我想[00:16:30]在人們如何思考的框架下,這是一個相當豐富的資訊。所以,幾個月前我們見面的時候,我想我們討論過你

[00:16:40] experience in Greater Bay Area when you are researching in the area, and focusing on that, and I think it’s a great idea to use that as a use case to talk about how to conduct research in the


[00:16:50] emerging markets because a lot of audience might be interested in Malaysia asset b&m asset, and obviously, you’re more in the Greater Bay Area. So I want to talk about your experience with that.


[00:17:00] How is the experience with conducting research in emerging market like the Greater Bay Area? How does that process, is it different than having developed area, is it really hard to find information, many more?


[00:17:11] [00:17:10] Anthony Wong: [00:17:11] Yeah, for sure. I mean, I was in China about a year or so. And really on the south side of China, which is the Greater Bay Area, which they call it.


[00:17:20] So these cities included two core cities and nine other second tier cities. The two core, obviously, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, which my offices were based at


[00:17:30] when I was conducting research and advisory business there from another consulting firm. I think it’s a lot different doing research and doing development in China,


[00:17:40] because in the sense that as a researcher, marketing transparency is not as great as Hong Kong. For example, maturity of real estate market information is really, really difficult to retrieve.


[00:17:50] There’s no united platform, as I talked about things like EPRC, which shows all the transaction for not that expensive


[00:18:00] mountain subscription fee, or lands apartment or buildings department where you can just go directly and get the information. And so I think transparency is really a one big thing. They


[00:18:10] do have a platform called CREIS, which is the China Real Estate Intelligence System. And that is a hefty heavy price subscription allowing real estate


[00:18:20] petitioners to gain access to, for example, land values, residential transaction. But again, the downside is that how much of that data is accurate in China, because


[00:18:30] sometimes data has always been something that we as a researcher is concerned about. So, doing real estate research, compared


[00:18:40] to Hong Kong, takes a lot more time in the sense that we have to, instead of just relying on the data, sometimes you have to go on site and verify, is this project completed, and is this


[00:18:50] development actually has that much of a tendency in terms of vacancy. So when I was working and travelling between two cities and


[00:19:00] Shenzhen, give you an example. My team members and I have to visit a lot of undeveloped office sites. For example, in Guangzhou and the south side, there’s a


[00:19:10] second tier city called Foshan, luckily, we had a company car so we can go there, but we have to actually visit these retail sites and see


[00:19:20] what other vacancies going on there. And we have to talk to local brokers to understand what are the situation that’s been going on in the market in terms of retail,

[00:19:20] 那裡還有什麼空缺。我們必須和當地的經紀人談談,瞭解零售市場的情况,

[00:19:30] walking through different models and analysing the guesstimation of what the vacancy rates are because it’s hard to really, really retrieve those data in


[00:19:40] China. So, I think doing research in China requires a lot of time, patience, years of experience, being in the market


[00:19:50] and really swimming along it and having deeper connections with the local investors. When you thought about doing China, relationships number one really important.


[00:20:00] So these clean market players, they give you a lot of insights in terms of making the job a lot easier.


[00:20:06] Darren Wong: [00:20:06] I feel like we should ask Gary just to find the data for us,

[00:20:06]Darren Wong:[00:20:06]我覺得我們應該讓Gary幫我們找到數據,

[00:20:10] because there is so much hassle. And then I think there’s similar stories that when people told me about, when a couple years ago, half a half a decade ago, they


[00:20:20] went to Vietnam or Malaysia, same thing is that like, they have a very, very hard time. And obviously, right now because the demand is so high, they start building the whole infrastructure of data and information. But before that was


[00:20:30] really that, even you want to find out what’s going on, you got to be fly all the way there, be on the ground, you have to have two hours car ride, bumpy car ride, really measure


[00:20:40] every single thing to know what the hell is going on, because the data wasn’t there. So I think these are things that like office for emerging market, that’s the tricky part. And then which comes to


[00:20:50] the next question. What are some tips and insight you will share with the audience, especially when it comes to locally and abroad? Or in this case, emerging markets when the data is not as available?


[00:21:02] [00:21:00] Anthony Wong: [00:21:02] Yeah, I have worked in China, wouldn’t say a long time, and Hong Kong, a little more familiar with. I would say,

[00:21:02] [00:21:00] Anthony Wong: [00:21:02]對,再熟悉一點,我就不會在香港工作了。我會說,

[00:21:10] doing good research is about do what you can, honestly. Be open minded and resourceful, and talk to as many people, so if you want to go to a different


[00:21:20] country to do your investment, not just only ask a couple brokers, is this a good site to invest or are you took a plane trip there, and then


[00:21:30] “Oh, I like this place, that seems like a good vacation place”? But also really knowing the people, real estate is about community. So knowing what kind of location that


[00:21:40] you’re intended to invest? What kind of community residents that gives you the sense of safety, sense of good education, good school boundaries? These are really, really important. And really make use of


[00:21:50] the resources that is provided by the local government. And Hong Kong, we’re really privileged to have a lot of resources that is issued out there. For emerging market, not so much, so


[00:22:00] sometimes you might have to spend a little more time, a little more money, and a little more liquidity in terms of knowing the market or even worse. But the upside is that there’s more gains on


[00:22:10] top of saturated market like Hong Kong. Second of all, be really analytical and insightful. How to spot trends, as I talked about really read a


[00:22:20] lot of market news. Sometimes this news might give you a really good suspense, but how much is that actually reflecting the market, right? So really be


[00:22:30] critical in terms of some of news outlets. And also, be both quantitative and qualitative. Don’t just rely on data, rely on talking to different people and


[00:22:40] understanding where the sources are coming. At the end of the day, you really start off real estate. Because real estate, everything


[00:22:50] is about location, right? So really understanding the locational context of it, from transportation, to building


[00:23:00] highways, to geopolitical stability, to Macro, all kind of stuff. I think these are all really essential in terms of investing elsewhere in a place that you’re not


[00:23:10] familiar with, for example, in emerging markets.


[00:23:12] Darren Wong: [00:23:12] I think there’s a very good takeaway, because that’s something it’s easier said than done. It is a lot of homework, but you’ve got to do it because you’re

[00:23:12]Darren Wong:[00:23:12]我認為有一個非常好的外賣,因為這是說起來容易做起來難的事情。工作太多了,但你必須做,因為你

[00:23:20] putting years of savings into something that you might not get return or get a good return that is expected until years afterward. So before we jump into the


[00:23:30] data centre topic for the audience, maybe it just ends right here. How would they return to you to find out more about your work and yourself?


[00:23:40] [00:23:39] Anthony Wong: [00:23:39] Yeah, for sure. So really, our work is really publicly available. You know, a lot of people don’t make use of it. We do a lot of consulting projects that you guys are


[00:23:50] more welcome to check it out. It’s in the Colliers International website. And you go on, there’s a research tab that you click on research. And inside, there’s different sectors and you select


[00:24:00] whatever region that you want to invest in, for example, you want to go with Malaysia, we have Malaysian quarterly reports that shows four or five different sectors office, industrial, retail, residential,


[00:24:10] capital markets that we publish reports consistently. So anyone who’s interested in the market, make use of the resource that we produce, because we want to help clients, we want to develop client relationships to


[00:24:20] go there. But honestly, we are really personal. So if you want to reach out to me personally, add me on LinkedIn, Anthony Wong. I’ve been called Colliers


[00:24:30] International, and you can find me there or reach out to my email via I’m always able to help you find real estate


[00:24:40] solutions or giving you just basic guidance in terms of career path, you want to go into the real estate or real estate research.


[00:24:47] Darren Wong: [00:24:47] Yeah, obviously I’ll ensure all the links we

[00:24:47]Darren Wong:[00:24:47]是的,顯然我會確保我們所有的連結

[00:24:50] said before, the links for different public information and obviously Colliers, for example, the information you have, the report you have and the contact information. So for the people who are


[00:25:00] interested to learn more about data centre, we are going to have a nice episode coming up within less than a week time, and then yeah, that’s it.


[00:25:07] Anthony Wong: [00:25:07] I’m looking


[00:25:10] forward to it.


[00:25:10] Darren Wong: [00:25:10] Yeah, for sure.

[00:25:10]Darren Wong:[00:25:10]是的,當然。

Market Updates 未分類

South Korean Real Estate For Beginners With Leo Wong

South Korean Real Estate For Beginners With Leo Wong

There are a lot of talks with the South Korea real estate market. We want to give an introductory video to allow overseas investors to know about the South Korea real estate market and discover where the opportunities are.

▶ Connect with the guest

LinkedIn –

▶ Source & Supporting:

2030 Seoul plan:


▶ Disclaimer:

This disclaimer informs readers/audience that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text/video belong solely to the author & participant, and not necessarily to the participant’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual. 

As it can be difficult to catch some minor errors, transcripts may contain a few typos or inaccuracies.

This might be painfully obvious – Please note the following legal conditions:

Denzity owns the copyright in and to all content in and transcripts of Denzity’s video programs and publications (collectively referred to as “Denzity Materials”, with all rights reserved and its right of publicity.

You are welcome to share the below transcript (up to 500 words but not more) in media articles (e.g., The South China Morning Post, Bloomberg, New York Times), on your website, in a non-commercial article or blog post (e.g., Medium and WordPress), and/or on a personal social media account for non-commercial purposes, provided that you include attribution to “Denzity” and link back to the URL. For the sake of clarity, media outlets with advertising models are permitted to use excerpts from the transcript per the above.

No one is authorized to copy any portion of the Denzity Materials or use Denzity’s name, image or likeness for any commercial purpose or use, including without limitation inclusion in any books, e-books, book summaries or synopses, or on a commercial website or social media site (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) that offers or promotes your or another’s products or services.

Alright, let’s get back to the transcript of the show. Enjoy!

▶ Transcript

Darren Wong: Hey, Leo, thanks for coming in.

Leo: Hey, hi, Darren, thank you for inviting me.

Darren Wong: Would you mind telling the audience about yourself?

Leo: My name is Leo Wong and I represent Fonto real estate. We are a firm of mostly  development projects in many different places around the world. Currently, we are most concentrated in San Francisco, the Bay Area in the United States. And also in South Korea. We already have some completed projects in those cities, and we’re looking to expand soon, just probably waiting for the economic situation to improve a bit. And then we’ll get ready and push out our products.

Darren Wong: I see. Yeah, it’s interesting because when I talk to your team, I really feel that it’s good that you guys cover different regions, and today we focus on South Korea, because a lot of people always tell me, “Hey, I want to invest in different places in Asia.” And myself, I’m not very familiar with South Korea so it’s good to have someone like you tell the audience and myself more about it. So for them and myself who might not understand the regions of South Korea, would you mind giving a brief introduction and description of how the city’s made up? And then what are a few areas that overseas investors tend to invest in? Lastly, what is the opportunity in terms of a macro point of view in the next few years?

Leo: Okay, sure. Let me kind of give a macro picture of the whole country first and then we’ll drill into Seoul, which is the major attention. First, administratively, South Korea has one special city, which is Seoul, and one special self governance city which is Sejong, and six metropolitan cities, Busan, Incheon, Daegu, Dajeon, Ulsan and Gwangju, and except these eight major cities, all lands are divided into a total of nine provinces called Bo, including one special autonomous province, that’s Jeju Island. And all these cities and toll on the same administrative regions. So if you’re familiar with the system in Japan, for example, then it’s pretty similar. So they have Philly, special cities, and then they have other prefectures. Okay. So, if we drill into Seoul now, especially, then, let me explain some of the major areas. So there are three major business districts within Seoul. The central business district, there’s the hongyun area, and then the second one is called Gangnam district, okay, oh, we call it Gangnam. And then the third one is called Yeouido business district. So, basically, just for ease of references, we call the first one CBD to central business district and then the second one is GBD, G for Gangnam and end of third this YDP which is the Yeong-deungpo. And these three main business district in Seoul houses about about 67% of the city’s largest office buildings. And while the first one, CBD tends to have a mixture of tenants such as news agencies, financial institutions and government agencies GBD tends to have more tenants from the IT sector and YDP tends to have more tenants from the financial industries, because it also  houses the KRX which is the Korean Stock Exchange. And one thing to note is that CBD and GBD are not just business districts, but they are also very famous for shopping, okay, CBD is within walking distance from Myeongdong, which has a lot of mainstream brands and GBD also has a lot of luxurious brands, flagships of course. And the second thing about the geographic features of Seoul is that it is divided in half by the Han River, okay. The local people called the area on the north shore of the river, Gangbuk. So, gang is the river in pok east north, okay. And area south of the Han River is Gangnam. So in this case, the word Gangnam is used differently. The first one is just referring to the GBD. In the second use is referring to the whole area south of the Han River. So in the 70s 1970s, over about 75% of Seouls population live in Gangbuk and Gangnam was at that time mostly farmland, and the government wish to diversify the population and to also cool down the Gangbuk real estate prices as they’re already tons of demands at that time on the lands of Gangbuk. The government limits new constructions in Gangbuk, starting in 1972, and encourages the development in Gangnam. So as a result, Gangnam’s real estate prices have started to skyrocket. And as a 2020 Gangnam has become the richest neighborhood not only in Seoul, but in entire South Korea. So it’s pretty ironic, you know, Gangnam was already developed to cool down Gangbuk. And now Gangnam becomes very expensive by his own right. And also Seoul has several satellite cities, just like most of the really big cities in the world, and the surrounding regions, okay including those satellite cities, is what we call Sudogwon. Collectively, it means the capital area in Korea, and some of the more well known satellite cities are Incheon,  Seongnam and Suwon. In properly some people already notice that the airport we use for to travel to Seoul is in Incheon.

Leo: Yeah, and let me also give some background about macroeconomics. Now, for Korea it has a severe aging populations just similar to the neighboring countries like Japan and in other developed countries like Germany or like France, okay. So, the fertility rate is continuously decreasing and the government expected in 2029, the population growth rate is expected to turn negative, the life expectancy has been steadily increasing so, people are getting older okay, and probably due to the improving medicine. So, in terms of the overall demographic structure it has been changing and expected to affect the country’s economy in the next decade. The population age 65 or above is expected to exceed 20% of the total population by 2025. And this age group, the population of this age group is expected to exceed 40% by 2051. So there’s really a large proportion of the whole population. So, in this case, the supply of labor will decrease because a lot of people are already really old and already retired and people will start saving more money for retirement, okay. So, in the simplest sense, more savings means less consumption, okay. And also according to the statistical department, the average number of household members is expected to decrease from about 2.5 persons in 2017 to about 2 in 2047. So, this decrease means that as time goes on, there will be more single person households. And as of now, many of the single person household members are in their 20s or 30s. But in the long run, they will become older. So, this decrease in single person households is likely to affect consumption patterns. And finally, I think another important factor to consider is the populations concentration in Seoul. While Seouls total land area is just about like 0.6% of the entire country, around 20% of the country’s population reside in Seoul. So urbanization is very severe, and it is expected to further accelerate while the population especially young people is flowing into capital areas, such as Seoul and the capital city, the metropolitan area, including the satellite cities, the population in non capital areas has been steadily decreasing over the past decades. And this occurs to some metropolitan cities as well, such as Busan. And they’re already young people flowing out of those big cities other than Seoul.

Leo: So let me talk about some of the promising area in businesses. Because of the increase in single person households that I just mentioned, the online purchase market is expanding, and more and more items are available online. In the past few years, the online food shopping has been a hit in South Korea, to store fruits, meat and vegetable, in fresh state a lot of more warehouses are in demand and were built. The new supply of warehouses in the capital city area was more than 2 million square meters in 2019. And difficult was about two times of the new supply in the year 2016/2017. So this trend is expected to only accelerate in the next few years, because as we are now facing COVID-19, more customers are turning to online malls to do their shoppings online.

Darren Wong: That’s very informative, because even from your explanation, I can see a lot of detail of what it’s going to become in a long term prospect. So you know, you mentioned a lot of different areas, a lot different things, do you think some of those areas are overrated for foreign investors?

Leo: I think from our perspective, we look at some of the really important sectors of whether the demand or the supply of an area are determined. And let me try to start from the beginning. To give the short answer first, is that I think currently Jeju islands is quite overrated. So in general, the most important determining factor of the real estate prices, at least in South Korea is the availability of jobs. For example, in South Chungcheong province,  Cheonan’s their house prices has been on the rise in the past decade because it is where the SK Hynix plants are built. So on the other hand, in the same province in a very similar locality,  Gongju and Buyeo, they’re very famous for cultural Heritage’s. So for example, they have much more tourists, but they have much less jobs. So in our understanding the property prices has risen much less. So we believe this fact that the availability of jobs in the region is the probably the most important determining factor for the real estate prices. So if there are more jobs, except of course, like, you know, jobs related to tourism, then there would be more people and more demands, and so the housing prices would rise. And in this perspective, Seoul has overwhelmingly more jobs than in any other areas in South Korea. And within Seoul itself, the GBD the Gangnam district has about 1.5 million white collar jobs. And the combined population in Busan and Daegu, the two major metropolitan cities in South Korea is 5 million. So from this, we see that Seoul real estate prices, especially in Gangnam, is bound to keep rising, even if the government has introduced a series of regulation in the past few years to inhibit Gangnams housing price rise, it is inevitable that the region’s real estate prices will keep rising. So we think that Seoul’s real estate prices are not overrated now and it’s a right decision to invest in the city, especially this Gangnam region with a strong fundamental support. And in contrast, Jeju Island is very heavily reliant on tourist industry in also Chinese capitals. And as we see in the recent months, the unstable relationship between the Chinese government and South Korean government and also COVID-19, the tourists from China and also Chinese capital have been decreasing in the past two years. So, Jeju Island also does not have a lot of white collar jobs or industrial jobs that could attract people to relocate to Jeju. So the real estate prices in Jeju Island has decreased in the past few years. And for this reason, the same reason we think that investing Jeju Island right now is not a good option. And also where in Seoul should investors explore other than the three city centers, we suggest investors to look at a information called the 2030 Seoul plan. And that is the urban master plan that Seoul Metropolitan Government announced in 2017. Okay, so from that plan, you can see that the government selected three city centers and also seven sub centers. And while the city centers already have a lot of jobs, we assume that in the seven sub centers and regional centers, jobs and residents will increase in the coming decades. So whether it’s a flat or small stakes for property, we believe that it’s profitable to invest in those areas, or at least the areas that have easy transportation connections with those areas. So we should pay attention to those places where jobs are about to increase. And we believe that if there are jobs, then there will be people and there will be demand for real estate.

Darren Wong: I see. But how would we suggest differently for investors that are either planning to sell to use or investment only?

Leo: I just mentioned before, the real estate market is rising especially in the hot areas that we just mentioned. The current South Korean government is strongly against individuals owning more than one residential unit. So they have introduced 18 new regulations since 2018. The same applies to non South Korean nationals purchasing residential real estate in Korea. So we strongly recommend not to buy more than one property or otherwise one will be subject to very high tax.

Darren Wong: I see. When it comes to tax, right, what kind of tax and how much would an oversea investor be taxed at?

Leo: As of now the overseas investors are subject to the same taxation as South Koreans, locals when it comes to owning properties. In other words, currently, there is no taxation that specifically bars foreigners from investing in South Korean real estate. There are about four, there are four major tax or levies to the government. The first one is a Stamp Duty, okay. And it could be up to USD $320, depending on the federal property, and the stamp duties come comparatively low compared to other countries. But there’s also another thing called the Acquisition tax, it ranges from 1% to 4% depending on the value of the property, okay, and also like its location. And there’s the third tax, which is called the Withholding tax, it ranges between 6% to 40% depending on the property value. This Withholding tax is very similar to property tax in other jurisdiction that you have to pay periodically, as long as you hold the property. And finally, there’s the Capital Gains tax. These capital gains tax is again, the nature is well known to most investors. Basically, it looks at the capital gain, that means the increase or appreciation in value between the time that you purchase the property and the value you sell the property and the difference would be the basis of the taxation.

Darren Wong: I see. How does COVID-19 impact the market and what are some opportunities investors should look at right now?

Leo: Due to COVID-19, as mentioned before, ecommerce is in more demand than ever. So there’s now more robust demand for logistics spaces, especially those with low temperatures to store vegetables. Another potential opportunity lies in smaller size offices. Due to COVID-19, some large scale companies reclassified their employees into smaller groups based on their residence and asks them to work at different offices for for the time being. And likewise, it is being that COVID-19 may be a stimulus for the decentralizing work scheme in the near future.

Darren Wong: I see. Like I think everything you said so far is so informative that even in my head, that picture is very clear on the opportunity. Beyond that, what are some tips and advice you would suggest to the audience? And is there anything they should be aware of when it comes to investing in South Korea’s real estate market?

Leo: I think we briefly talked about this. If one is to invest in residential property, then we should consider just investing in one property, rather than multiple properties because currently government’s letting high taxation upon those who own more than one property and also in Korea, the demand for hotel depends a lot on the number of Chinese tourists. This means that if the relationship between the People’s Republic of China in South Korea becomes more unstable then hospitality industry will get a large impact after the COVID-19 recovery, and of course, unless we see that the South Korean tourists market, the composition, changes to a much more touristy place from countries other than PRC otherwise then this is still a risk to hospitality investors.

Darren Wong: I see. You know, I have one more question because it’s something that my friend has asked me to ask you. It’s that, are there any hip places that a lot of younger crowds are willing to pay more rent for? In addition, where are a few places that a lot of more commercial activities are working in Seoul and that is worth looking into?

Leo: Well, in Seoul, you can classify the cities into different kinds of districts, namely the financial wealth district, hipstore districts, tourist education, and residential and two of the really popular so called hip places are Hongdae and Leetaewon, seems like early 2000s. But in the past decade that means from about 2010 to recently, it’s been undergoing refurbishment certification, so a lot of artists cafe and small size restaurants have moved out. Also in the past decade, Yeonnam-dong and Seongsu-dong has gained a lot of popularity among young people and they are quickly rising as hip places. Yeonnam-dong is located near Hongdae, the area has been a middle class residential district since the 70s. But instead of the high rise apartments, the area was mostly made up of about three storeys houses since the opening of Gyeongui Line the forest park nearby in 2016. The area went through a lot of commercialization, and several houses in Yeonnam-dong changed their usage in the past decade and became cafes and restaurants. Also, Seongsu-dong is located opposite to the GBD Gangnam business district across the Han River. So there’s a subway line and it takes around 20 minutes from Seongsu-dong to GBD. The area in Seongsu-dong used to be heavily industrial. We have a lot of small factories and workshops. But the artists and cafe owners from Hongdae started to move into this area, and they renovated the old factory size and turned them into from what’s crusty to rusty-interior design cafes and restaurants. And we contributed a lot to changing the overall atmosphere of these districts.

Darren Wong: It’s good. I mean, next time I’ll ask you which cafe to go to. It’s very informative. Thank you so much. Because I think, even for me you supplied some good photos and maps and everything to me. I’ll put everything in the show notes. And even during this video, we can go side by side with different stuff where people can see, trace it, and be like “Okay, this is what it looks like and what cities there.”  So, for people who are interested to look and talk to you more about South Korea’s real estate, how can they reach out to you and talk to you further?

Leo: I will leave my email address to you and they would be able to assess me directly. And that would primarily be the way we conduct communication between our staff and our potential customers.

Darren Wong: I get it. Okay, I’ll obviously put everything in the show notes. So I just want to say thank you so much for a very informative interview. And then hopefully next time you come in, you can tell us more about San Francisco, what’s going on over there.

Leo: Well, thank you very much.

Darren Wong: Thank you and have a good one, then.

Leo: You too.

Darren Wong: Bye.

Leo: Bye.

Market Updates 未分類

Denzity Insights: Emerging Property Markets In The United Kingdom With Gordon Franks

Emerging Property Markets In The United Kingdom With Gordon Franks

Connect with Gordon:

  • LinkedIn:
  • WeChat: LFSHKGordon 
  • Email: 

Emerging Property Markets In The United Kingdom With Gordon Franks

In the past, we had an episode covering the United Kingdom real estate market, focusing on London. Since many investors are interested in regions outside of London in the United Kingdom, we’ve decided to invite Gordon, a real estate agent and mortgage broker, to share his insights on those regions. We have covered topics such as:

  • The areas overseas investors tend to invest in the United Kingdom
  • The areas that are overrated or underrated
  • The market outlook
  • And more.



Lifestyle Brokers:

NOMA Regeneration:

HS Two Rail Link:

Stamp Duty: Stamp duty is a kind of tax that is imposed in the form of stamps on legal documents by the government while buying a property.

Capital Appreciation: Capital appreciation or capital gain is an increase in the value of any investment.

As it can be difficult to catch some minor errors, transcripts may contain a few typos or inaccuracies.

This might be painfully obvious – Please note the following legal conditions:

Denzity owns the copyright in and to all content in and transcripts of Denzity’s video programs and publications (collectively referred to as “Denzity Materials”, with all rights reserved and its right of publicity.

You are welcome to share the below transcript (up to 500 words but not more) in media articles (e.g., The South China Morning Post, Bloomberg, New York Times), on your website, in a non-commercial article or blog post (e.g., Medium and WordPress), and/or on a personal social media account for non-commercial purposes, provided that you include attribution to “Denzity” and link back to the URL. For the sake of clarity, media outlets with advertising models are permitted to use excerpts from the transcript per the above.

No one is authorized to copy any portion of the Denzity Materials or use Denzity’s name, image or likeness for any commercial purpose or use, including without limitation inclusion in any books, e-books, book summaries or synopses, or on a commercial website or social media site (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) that offers or promotes your or another’s products or services.

Alright, let’s get back to the transcript of the show. Enjoy!


Market Updates 未分類

Finding clients: Online VS face-to-face?

Finding clients, online or offline? It is now easier to find clients and promote oneself, but on the other hand, the market is getting much more competitive. Let’s find out which way is better.

As real estate agents, we both hate and love the Internet. On one hand, it is now easier to find clients and promote oneself, but on the other hand, the market is getting much more competitive. The online way or the traditional way, which one is better? Let’s find out.

Face-to-face real estate expert

👍🏻Easier to secure clients

Usually, when clients come to consult you face-to-face, they’re not just “browsing around”, especially for making an important financial decision like real estate equity investments. They probably heard about you from a friend and did a little market comparison and research before they decide to talk to you. Clients do not want to waste their time and effort to compare many agents and agencies. In these cases, all you have to do is be prepared for the meeting, show the clients your expertise and share your professional experiences. If your first impression is good enough, the clients will probably hire you right away.

👎🏻Limited marketing channels

Traditional marketing channels for real estate experts can be limited. There are not a lot of platforms, like Denzity, for you to showcase your expertise or communicate with your potential clients. So, it can be challenging to find clients. All you can do is treat every job seriously and hope that your clients will introduce you to their friends.

Online real estate expert

👍🏻More room for you to shine

Social media is a whole new planet for you to explore. With social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook, every individual can do their branding. Under this competitive environment, most real estate experts have a few areas of expertise, like Malaysia real estate market, Vietnam real estate equity investment, or feng shui. Agents can share their insights on these social media platforms and reach out to potential clients. Now there are even prop-tech platforms like Denzity where you can communicate with potential clients directly online. With the right techniques, you can get more exposure than ever.

👍🏻Easier communication

Online meeting technology has certainly improved greatly under the pandemic. It is now easy to do video calls no matter where you are, all you need is a stable Internet connection. You can easily communicate with your clients, answer their questions more promptly, and make a better impression. Agents can also join online real estate community groups to share their professional experiences and insights into real estate equity investment enthusiasts. Online communication allows agents to interact with other experts and learn from each other.

👎🏻Real estate agent market is more competitive

Clients can now browse the profile of thousands of real estate experts in like three hours with the Internet. This makes agents harder to stand out in the crowd. Yet, you can treat this as an opportunity to develop your specialty. Become an expert in a particular niche, like rental problems, oversea real estate equity investments, or immigration. This way you can attract more clients and stay competitive.

It is important to maintain your edge in this competitive environment. To do so, you have to invest in yourself. Be your public relations and marketing manager. Build your reputation by creating an online profile. Show the world what you’ve got. Join Denzity today and get your name listed on our extensive directory so that you can reach out to your potential clients. If you have anything particularly interesting you want to share, or you’re specialized in a certain area in real estate equity investment, let us know and maybe you will be the next real estate expert featured in our latest educational series Denzity Insights!

Market Updates 未分類

Denzity Insights: Canada Real Estate Outlook 2020 With Robert Veerman

Canada Real Estate Outlook 2020 With Robert Veerman



The Canadian real estate market has been popular among overseas investors for the past few years. As some of our users asked us about how the COVID-19 and economic downtown have impacted the market, we think it’d be great to have a real estate expert to shed light on this topic. Today, we have Robert sharing his insights.

Robert Veerman is a commercial real estate broker at CBRE Canada. He buys and sells investment and development properties in Canada with a focus on Vancouver and Toronto.

  • The impact of COVID on the Canadian real estate market
  • The shift in investors preference
  • The outlook for the remainder of 2020
  • Any major macro influences that would affect the market

As it can be difficult to catch some minor errors, transcripts may contain a few typos or inaccuracies.

This might be painfully obvious – Please note the following legal conditions:

Denzity owns the copyright in and to all content in and transcripts of Denzity’s video programs and publications (collectively referred to as “Denzity Materials”, with all rights reserved and its right of publicity.

You are welcome to share the below transcript (up to 500 words but not more) in media articles (e.g., The South China Morning Post, Bloomberg, New York Times), on your website, in a non-commercial article or blog post (e.g., Medium and WordPress), and/or on a personal social media account for non-commercial purposes, provided that you include attribution to “Denzity” and link back to the URL. For the sake of clarity, media outlets with advertising models are permitted to use excerpts from the transcript per the above.

No one is authorized to copy any portion of the Denzity Materials or use Denzity’s name, image or likeness for any commercial purpose or use, including without limitation inclusion in any books, e-books, book summaries or synopses, or on a commercial website or social media site (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) that offers or promotes your or another’s products or services.


US Federal Reserve:

Anchored Retail:

Safe Haven Investment Destination: In simple words, safe-haven investments are investments that are promising investments and have a comparatively short period of market failure

China Global Tax Scheme:

H1B Visa: The H1B visa is an employment visa issued by the US government to foreign nationals in order to work in the US temporarily.

Capitalization Rates: Capitalization rate or cap rate is the percentage rate of a property’s income.

Interest Rate: The interest rate is a certain percentage of the amount of money lent or borrowed that is charged by the lenders to the borrowers upon returning the original amount over a period of time.


Our video creator:

Patina Design Lab is a strategic design consultancy firm that helps businesses with a wide range of design services.


Alright, let’s get back to the transcript of the show. Enjoy!

Darren :  Hey, Robert, welcome to the show.

Robert:  Thanks, Darren. Glad to be here.

Darren : Yeah, I mean, this is very exciting because we’ve been friends for so long, I think for more almost two decades. And it’s a good time to talk about our jam, real estate. So, you know, for the audience who might not know who you are, would you mind telling them about yourself and your work? 

Robert: Sure, yeah. My name is Robert Veerman. I’m a commercial real estate broker at CBRE in Canada. I cover two major markets here, Vancouver and Toronto in buying and selling real estate. 

Darren: So for the audience, right, I used to live in Vancouver. So when it comes to like Vancouver real estate, I’m always very excited. Because even though every time I go back to Vancouver, there’s so many changes. So there’s one thing that I’m sure a lot of people are curious about, it’s how has Covid-19 impacted the Canadian Real Estate Market at large, especially in Toronto and Vancouver markets? 

Robert: Yeah, for sure. I mean, I think Covid definitely is impacted. Everything everywhere around the world. I’ll just talk about it from a timeline perspective. So Covid, kind of first hit, or I would say the lockdowns first happened in Canada, in the middle of March. So for the first two months, I’d say in March and April, there was this virtual shutdown of everything. And that meant for real estate as well. So for residential real estate, as well as commercial real estate, I’d say all kinds of activity trading just stopped. But what was happening in the background, in a huge way was everyone was just trying to figure out how Covid and how this lockdown was going to impact their portfolios, how it was going to impact their real estate. So I was spending a lot of time with clients at that point, not buying and selling stuff, but helping them just shore up the portfolio, buying a lot of data points to understand that. I mean, real estate, fundamentally, is user landlord, you collect rent from the tenants, and then usually the landlord has some kind of financing on it, and you’ll use that rent to pay the banks. So the fact that this is worth running, and there’s this whole fear that, you know, people couldn’t pay rent, because, you know, for example, restaurants, they couldn’t, serve food, and they couldn’t pay rent, they had no money, and the landowners wouldn’t get money, and the banks don’t get money, and the whole system would basically shut down. So there’s this whole fear of having a liquidity crisis. That being said, the, I guess the government response, federal, provincially, and municipally, has been fantastic. And they have definitely worked very, very hard to create a lot of liquidity. And I’d say overall in the industry, everyone in it, from banks, to landlords, to tenants to government have been very, very, very hands on and very shoulder to shoulder working together to make sure things are okay. So now I’d say since then, moving forward to June, July, August, September, things have definitely stabilized. There’s been a new norm that’s set in. And honestly, things are really back to business with, you know, covid precautions, of course.

Darren :  That’s good to know, because it’s something that I hear a lot. And then obviously we’re now in September, and a lot of places around the world are recovering. So due to Covid-19 and the economic impacts, right, do you see a shift in investors preference when it comes to their mandates? 

Robert:  Yeah, for sure. I mean, everyone has shifted their mandates. I mean, to a degree, like the most flexible guys, like myself have definitely shifted my business. The private equity guys, you know, the individual investors have definitely shifted their business, even like the larger institutional investors, obviously, they have a lot at stake, they have a lot of existing portfolio, a lot of existing assets, but even they have adjusted their outlook on the market. Generally speaking, most things have come out of it unscathed. Most guys, artists in steel position. Now there have been a few shakeups like three deals I’m working on right now are receivership deals.They’re you know, properties where the landlord or the owner base a default on their mortgage and has no means to repay it and the bank has been possessing them and forcing them to sell and I’d say a lot of private investors naturally gravitated towards those deals. And, you know, there’s definitely a frenzy of activity, I’d say, from everyone across the board asking me, “Robert, you know, what kind of deals do you have, like receivership deals? Like, Where can I buy 50 cents on the dollar.” And this definitely did occur mostly in the development space, because those are at the most risk defaulting, you know, like, it’s not a development property it’s not like a income property, where you’re just collecting rent from a tenant. Development property, you know, you require certain things like pre sales, you know, you have ongoing construction, and you have much higher leverage loans. So if anything stops for whatever reason, it can have a much bigger impact on your bottom line. So, that’s definitely happened. But that being said, it hasn’t been the norm. Like, there’s definitely more people asking for that kind of product than there is available. And the pricing, though, it’s not exactly what people expected, you know, people are looking for 50 cents of the dollar. But the reality is, it’s more like 70, 80, 90 cents in the dollar. Because at the end of the day, a lot of these properties are backed by mortgages from banks, and the banks will have loan to value ratios of, you know, 70%, 80%, and the banks themselves don’t want to lose money. Yeah, I mean, I think another big trend I would say is that debtors cheat. And it’s definitely here to stay. And, you know, the US Federal Reserve now is that they’re gonna keep rates low for the foreseeable future. The Bank of Canada is really in lockstep. And financing overall is like much cheaper, it was very hard to get in the beginning of Covid, because the banks themselves couldn’t even underwrite what was happening. But now that things have settled down, the banks can kind of see the trajectory again. And financing is very, very, very cheap. So because of that, actually, I’d say there’s three main asset classes that are very, very much in demand. Not like receivership type deals, but like more normal market deals, that’s multifamily, industrial and it’d say grocery anchored retail. Those are the three asset classes that have continued to do well through Covid, if not have done better. Just to give you a brief example, for grocery retail, I talked to a few of like the biggest grocery stores in Canada. And they’re saying that their sales through Covid, you know, from March till now has been the highest ever on record, more than during Christmas season more than Thanksgiving. So their business is booming, long and short. Multifamily, people always need a place to live. And we’ve done a servia profile of all our investing base, Google multifamily. And I’d say 90%-95% to 99% of them reported that they have no issue collecting rent, and industrial logistics, it has always been in vogue. It always been popular even before Covid. And even now with more online shipping. You know, and what have you it just continues to be popular. 

Darren : I see. So, you know, like I know you for quite some time, right, and you’re quite involved with the Asian investors such as Hong Kong and China, how’s the demand for Canadian assets fared over during 2020? 

Robert: I mean, I’d say, Canada has always been a popular destination for you know, international capital. It’s always been seen as a safe haven investment destination, not the greatest growth, you know, Canada’s not Vietnam. But, you know, very stable, and the kind of the economy is largely backed by the American, it’s a shadow of the American economy as well. So people have always come here. 2020 I haven’t seen that much asian interest. I think for several reasons. Mainland Chinese interest, there is still some and you know, we’re doing a couple of deals with them. But it has not been the wave that we’ve seen in the past, I’d say five to ten years in Canada. And I’d say one of the major reasons behind that is one, cap controls in China. It’s just harder and harder to bring money out of China. Two, it’s a trade war, right? So you know, like, if you’re a Chinese citizen, I think the Chinese government now is doing all it can to make sure that capital stays in China. I mean, you live in Hong Kong, if you’re a Chinese citizen in Hong Kong, you pay more tax income taxes living in Hong Kong than you do if you’re working in mainland China. So I think the Chinese government’s implementation of the global tax scheme is definitely pulling people back and having people second guess or, think, again, about taking capital out. But that being said, actually, a kind of interesting trend that I’m seeing right now, our team is seeing right now is that we’re seeing Chinese capital being redeployed into Canada, but not from China, but from other places in the world, namely, the US. I think the trade war is definitely forcing some players to sell their assets in the US whether for political reasons, or just no safety of their investment, I think there’s a general fear that having a capital in the American markets, you know, it may not be safe, right, if something can happen to it. So we’re actually seeing quite a few groups that have previously invested in the US but never invest in Canada, now looking at Canada. For Hong Kong, investors, I think there’s a big buzz about you know, more Hong Kong, investors looking at Canada, I’d say I’d see it on the residential scale.I think a lot actually, I’d say there’s a good number of Hong Kong people, you know, who I think have traditional ties to Canada, who are, you know, kind of redeploying back into Canada? And I wouldn’t say it’s more from a capital perspective, more from like, a living perspective. You know, I think I’ve had some people reach out to me, asking me about jobs here. And with the job environment, especially how real estate is in in Vancouver in Toronto. So I think there’s definitely a migration of people, but not necessarily capital from Hong Kong. 

Darren : I see. So what’s your outlook for the remainder of 2010? 

Robert: I think a lot of big deals are going to happen. One thing I forgot to mention, actually, you asked me about Asian investors but I’d say one of the main foreign investors in Canada right now are the Americans and maybe the Europeans. And I think for the rest of 2020, I think pencils are backed up in September. Todays september the 17th. The pencils are definitely backed up in September. And I think we’re going to see a lot of activity, we’re going to see a lot of big activity happen in the next few months, I’d say in the next six months, things may close in 2020. Things may also close in the first quarter of 2021. But I’m working on some deals, I can’t disclose what but a lot of the big players are making some big moves right now. Either they’re buying or selling and repositioning. I think what a lot of people don’t realize is that, you know, we’re still a peak market. And, you know, Covid has created like a low market, there’s no longer much of a market force kind of pushing things up or push things down. And I think a lot of players are using this opportunity to make strategic place that they’ve always planned to make. But they’re executing on this now. So for the rest of 2020, what do I see? I see a lot more American firms buying up here, namely buying multifamily and office. I think the Americans have two plays, or one play up here. And that’s they know that all the tech companies Facebook, Amazon, Google, want to open have opened and want to open more offices in Canada. For some reasons, Canadian dollars lower. It’s the same timezone as the US. It’s a short flight from the US and to get international talent now so like your top programmers from China, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, where have you immigration to Canada is much easier. US you have to get an h1 b visa, which is kind of up in the air right now with the current administration. But in Canada, if you have a job offer to say, Facebook, for example, or Microsoft, and you’re an Indonesian, for example, or Brazilian, it’ll take two weeks to process and get you working in Canada. So I think they see that as a very attractive alternative, you know, to secure that human capital. And I think the American real estate companies, you know, are buying office based on that, they know that these tech companies still want to expand. And I think they’re buying multifamily as well, because it kind of goes hand in hand, if you have population coming in, they need a place to live. And they’ll be pressures on rent growth, especially in Vancouver and Toronto, like they can see here it’s like, what less than one 1%. So there’s no new product, if one person moves in, there’s like no, no, for them to live, right. So there’s a lot of pressure for rent to go up. And I’d say a lot of like the big institutions as well, they Canadian institutions, which have a very, very big presence in real estate in Canada and in the world honestly, they’re one like the biggest investors globally in real estate. In China, Hong Kong, Europe, what have you, they’re going to be making strategic moves, buying and selling in Canada as well. 

Darren : I see that’s very informative. So you know a lot of the audience have actually asked me beforehand of the show, is that during just about macro influence, what are some macro influence you think investors should be aware of in the next few years, which will impact the attractiveness of investor investing in Canada? 

Robert: I think there are three things for sure. There’s three main macro discussion points that people should be aware of, if you’re a small investor, or a super large investor, the first is interest rates. Interest rates are going to remain low for the support seeable future. What does that mean exactly? It means that debt is going to continue to be cheap, and that there’s going to be further pressure for cap rates to go down. And for those who don’t know what a cap rate is, it’s basically the income of a property, like the first year’s income or property, their expected return. So if interest rates continue to stay low or go down, there will be pressure for good quality assets, you know, that have strong rents for the spread between the cap rate and the interest rate to go down. I think that’s one major trend that people should pay attention to. The second major trend is taxes. Through Covid, I think Canada is in a fantastic job creating liquidity. But they’ve also added a lot of new money to the supply. They’ve created a lot of new money. And I think all over the world, governments are increasing their deficits, so to speak, to help pay for this short term instability. But at end of the day, they need to get that money back somehow. And they aren’t getting it back through increasing interest rates for you know, like government bonds, they’re clearly not getting it back from there. I think one easy, very easy way for them to get it back is through increasing capital gain taxes, or any kind of transactional tax for investor, right. For all the people who’ve gotten more and more money in these past few months, you know, it’s the easiest way to get it back just to tax them on their investments. So I would look out for any kind of sign of capital gains tax increase in Canada, their budget is being put forth next year in the spring, q1 q2 of next year. So that’s definitely a thing to watch out for. And I think a lot of the moves people are making right now isn’t potentially an anticipation of that. I think if capital gains goes up, any kind of transaction tax goes up, they’ll be less trades, it will make the underlying value of the asset or the real estate worth less, in fact, will make it worth more because for anyone to sell, they’re going to have to sell for more to get a certain return if their taxes are up. So I think it’ll make things more expensive. For good quality stuff, obviously for stuff that’s not desirable or has issues, then that stuff will probably go down. But for stuff that’s super desirable multifamily, industrial, super stable, super safe, grocery, those, like will be harder and harder to trade. And the people who own that stuff will probably be in the best position.I’d say the third trend is immigration. Growth. Another way that I’d say the Canadian government can pay for a lot of this deficit. And the way that it historically has is just the immigration, and that’s through. Immigrants bring money, they bring capital. And they also, you know, increase the GDP of the country. So I think that’s generally a positive sentiment for Canada, you know, increasing immigration, because that will increase growth overall. So I think that’s another major trend to look out for. 

Darren : That’s very informative. I think that like everything you’ve said, so far is very in depth, so thanks for your time. So for time being right, what are some ways that if someone watches this video and wants to ask you more questions in commercial real estate or as a whole, how would I suggest them to reach out to you? 

Robert: Yeah, I’m sure my contacts will be above or below. I mean, why should someone reach out to me, I’m a real estate broker. I work at CBRE. We’re the largest, actually the largest commercial real estate company in the world, full service real estate company. We have a lot of different business lines, from investment to capital markets, leasing, property management, asset management, you know, the whole gamut appraisal.Me Myself, I work on the investment side as a broker. Yeah, if you’ve any questions regarding commercial real estate, or in fact, like commercial real estate in Canada, for that matter, feel free to reach out to me send me an email, give me a phone call. I think for people that don’t know real estate, and perhaps like they’re on Denzity, you know, looking for more insight in real estate and how to get into it, I would say this, like, it’s, it’s a great asset type, it’s a great investment to get into. And you can start very, very small. I’d say some of the biggest portfolios I’ve built from just one small building, you know, using, I guess, a celebrity as an example. I was, I mean, I went to school down in LA, everyone always used to talk about Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold Schwarzenegger is an actor. He’s this guy who came from Vienna, from Austria. He started buying commercial real estate, apartment buildings, actually, you know, when he first started. You buy one, and then you refi it a few years later, then you buy another one. And you just keep rolling, right? 

Darren : Yeah. You know, I think he covered a lot about his real estate deals in his book, how to recall. So it’s interesting because he make his money before his acting career kicks off. So yeah, I think real estate, I love this sector and that’s why we’re here. And I want to give a shout out to our High School St. George’s too, you know, that’s how I know you and have become friends. So I’m sure in round two, we can get other people like our friend Danny, who you know, as a pension guy is an investment manager, he can talk more about investing as a whole in real estate or even fixed income assets. So I’ll say again, thanks for your time, and I really appreciate your time, making this happen together. 

Robert: We’ll do, thanks Darren. 

Darren : Okay see you next time. Thank you. Good day. 

Robert: Cheers. 

Darren: Bye.

Market Updates 未分類

Real estate expert: Online VS face-to-face?

Should I find a real estate expert online or should I do it the traditional way? That is a question.

Nowadays you can practically find anything online. Especially during the pandemic, online shopping has become the prominent trend. You can buy food, clothes, and services online, and even real estate expert services. Some people may think that real estate equity investment is too “serious” to be done online, however, there could be more pros than cons. Let’s look at the difference between online real estate expert and face-to-face consultation.

Face-to-face real estate expert

👍🏻Higher credibility

For traditional real estate agents, marketing relies heavily on offline strategies like direct sales. Agents and agencies can only build their reputations step by step with years of experience and excellent services. Customers usually decide to hire a particular real estate expert because their friends and families endorsed his or her service. This gives customers more confidence, knowing that they are in good hands.

👎🏻Less convenient

To do it the old-school way, you probably have to visit the real estate expert to start the consultation process. During the pandemic, it can be difficult to find a safe place to talk for hours. Also, for an investment as big as a real estate equity investment, you may want to compare the prices and fees of several agencies before you make a decision. You will then have to spend some time and effort to talk to a few real estate experts, and then compare their services manually. Just think about the workload.

Online real estate expert

👍🏻More sources of information

In the past, if you want to know more about a niche in real estate equity investment, you have to go to a local real estate agency and read their posters or brochures. If you are looking to invest in an oversea real estate market, let’s say, the Malaysia real estate market, then it could be a little troublesome because local real estate agencies may not have substantial information on this subject. Yet, now you can easily search online for information about other real estate markets. There are even prop-tech platforms like Denzity for you to look for real estate experts with specific expertise, like Vietnam real estate market, Malaysia real estate development, and feng shui.

👍🏻More extensive background search

With more choices comes more considerations when making decisions. To choose the best agent, comparison and background search are essential. You can utilize the Internet to do a more thorough background search on your agents.

👍🏻More channels to find agents

Instead of asking your friends who had purchased real estate before or checking out local real estate agencies one by one, you can now go online to do so. There are endless ways to find a real estate agent now. For instance, you can use Denzity’s directory to find the real estate expert that is just right for you. After figuring out what you want, you can apply the filter and browse real estate experts specialized in the area you’re interested in, like feng shui or Vietnam real estate market.


The Internet not only makes our lives easier but also scammer’s businesses. Let’s be honest here, there certainly are scammers in the real estate equity investment business. That’s why it is important to do research and seek consultation from credible organisations. For example, Denzity is a third-party platform for you to learn more about real estate equity investment and browse lists of unaffiliated real estate agents.

Do you prefer the online way or the traditional way? Let us know in the comment section.

Market Updates 未分類

Denzity Insights Transcript: Real Estate STO: Challenge and Outlook With Michael Wong

Real Estate STO: Challenge and Outlook With Michael Wong

Connect with Michael:




While real estate tokenization has been touted as a new movement, it hasn’t yet garnered significant momentum. As the coronavirus has accelerated the world economy’s digitization, has the pandemic pressure accelerated tokenization in real estate as well? In this episode, we have Michael sharing his thoughts on it.

Michael Wong is the co-founder of MaiBlocks Technology and MaiCapital, which is a fintech start-up in HK that aims to solve an age-old problem:  making illiquid investments more liquid.

  • Why is the security token offering a big topic in real estate?
  • How to participate in real estate tokenization
  • Things to be aware of while investing
  • Impact of COVID on real estate STO

As it can be difficult to catch some minor errors, transcripts may contain a few typos or inaccuracies.

This might be painfully obvious – Please note the following legal conditions:

Denzity owns the copyright in and to all content in and transcripts of Denzity’s video programs and publications (collectively referred to as “Denzity Materials”, with all rights reserved and its right of publicity.

You are welcome to share the below transcript (up to 500 words but not more) in media articles (e.g., The South China Morning Post, Bloomberg, New York Times), on your website, in a non-commercial article or blog post (e.g., Medium and WordPress), and/or on a personal social media account for non-commercial purposes, provided that you include attribution to “Denzity” and link back to the URL. For the sake of clarity, media outlets with advertising models are permitted to use excerpts from the transcript per the above.

No one is authorized to copy any portion of the Denzity Materials or use Denzity’s name, image or likeness for any commercial purpose or use, including without limitation inclusion in any books, e-books, book summaries or synopses, or on a commercial website or social media site (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) that offers or promotes your or another’s products or services.


Asia Security Token Alliance (ASTA):



Real Estate Security Token Offering: STO in real estate allows investors to have fractional ownership as the security tokens represent the market value of tokenized real estate assets.

Illiquid investment: Securities or assets that can neither be sold or exchanged easily for an equal value.

Digitized fund: Digitized funds are capital funds that have been digitized with the use of blockchain technology.

Blockchain technology: A blockchain is basically a chain of blocks containing information online. The structure of a blockchain technology is designed as such, so that the data stored within cannot be tampered with.

REITs: REITs are companies or farms that manage or own properties that generate a stable income. With REIT investment, investors can enjoy a steady profit without going through any hassle of operating the asset.

STO exchange:  STO in real estate allows investors to have fractional ownership as the security tokens represent the market value of tokenized real estate assets. These tokenized assets can be traded on platforms known as STO exchanges.

Alright, let’s get back to the transcript of the show. Enjoy!


Michael Wong

Darren Wong: [00:00:00] [00:00:00] Hey, Mike. Hey, thanks for joining us.

Darren Wong:[00:00:00][00:00:00]嘿,Mike。嘿,謝謝你加入我們。

[00:00:01]Michael Wong: [00:00:01] Hey Darren. Good to see you again.


[00:00:03]Darren Wong: [00:00:03] Yeah, It’s been half like a year last time I see you.

[00:00:03]Darren Wong:[00:00:03]是的,我上次見到你已經是半年前。

[00:00:07]Michael Wong: [00:00:07] Yeah, it’s been a while. All these [00:00:10] interesting things happening in the world.


[00:00:11]Darren Wong: [00:00:11] Yeah, which is something that I’ll talk to you about, because we’re both in ASTA. And then we haven’t talked about what’s going to

[00:00:11]Darren Wong:[00:00:11]是的,因為我們都在ASTA,所以我會和你談談關於ASTA的事情。我們還沒談過市場會

[00:00:20] market or even what’s going on with regulation and even the real estate security token offering space. So this interview is something that I really want to talk to you about, even personally,


[00:00:30] to learn more what’s going on. So for the audience that don’t know who you are and what you do, would you mind give them a very short intro?


[00:00:38]Michael Wong: [00:00:38] Oh, sure, definitely. So Hi,


[00:00:40] everyone. My name is Michael and I’m a co-founder of MaiBlocks and MaiCapital. And what we’re doing here is we’re a FinTech


[00:00:50] startup here in Hong Kong that aims to solve an age-old problem, which is turning illiquid investments into something more liquid.


[00:01:00] And we’re trying to use the power of blockchain to help with that. So when people think about, for example, investing into real estate, traditionally, people would immediately associate that with


[00:01:10] something that’s very illiquid. So what we’re hoping is to use the power of blockchain to basically make this whole investment


[00:01:20] much more liquid. We’re calling this as digitised funds. But you can check out more on our website as well


[00:01:30] at

[00:01:30] 網址是

[00:01:31]Darren Wong: [00:01:31] So for people who don’t know about blockchain or crypto, what are the differences between the security token offering and initial coin

[00:01:31]Darren Wong:[00:01:31]那麼對於不瞭解區塊鏈或加密技術的人來說,簡單的來說,安全代幣發行和初始幣所提供的

[00:01:40] offering in simple terms?


[00:01:42]Michael Wong: [00:01:42] Yeah, so there are a few key differences I would summarise them into a

[00:01:42]Michael Wong:[00:01:42]是的,所以我將它們總結為

[00:01:50] few key words. One is asset backed, the other one is regulation. And the third is risk. So both ICOs and STOs,


[00:02:00] STO meaning security tokens, use blockchain technology to enable a crowdfunding mechanism for people to raise capital.


[00:02:10] And the key difference here is STOs are backed by actual tangible assets. These could be real assets like real estate, or it


[00:02:20] could be income streams or profit streams, where ICOs are more promises of future services or


[00:02:30] future products that you could use or buy. And so that’s one key difference is STO is backed by something that’s much more tangible.


[00:02:40] The other thing is regulation. So there’s really, in many jurisdictions, STO is heavily regulated. There’s specific


[00:02:50] rules on what you can and cannot do, whereas ICOs in many cases are not. So the third key difference, which is risk,


[00:03:00] because the ICO is, in many cases, not properly regulated, it could be rampant with fraud and scams. And there’s a much


[00:03:10] higher risk of speculation, where STOs is much more grounded.


[00:03:13]Darren Wong: [00:03:13] So obviously like blockchain has been a big topic for not only real estates, so is a really big industry and something that a lot

[00:03:13]Darren Wong:[00:03:13]顯然,區塊鏈不僅是房地產的一大主題,而且是一個非常大的行業,而且很多

[00:03:20] people, like yourself, obviously is thinking about, it’s gonna change how we look at trading and how we securitize something. So why is it huge


[00:03:30] for real estate when it comes to STO and then how’s the difference comparing to a REITs?

[00:03:30] 為什麼房地產是很重要的?和房地產投資信託相比又有什麼區別?

[00:03:37]Michael Wong: [00:03:37] Yeah, so real estate, as I started


[00:03:40] earlier, people associated with investing in real estate is difficult to get in and also difficult to get out, meaning it’s very illiquid.


[00:03:50] Traditionally, in the real estate world, there aren’t that many ways to invest into real estate, especially on commercial properties.


[00:04:00] Traditionally, either you go through private equity, which is still very illiquid in its form or through REITs, which is


[00:04:10] essentially an IPO. So a listed process, which is much more liquid, so it allows a lot of people to get in, get out much easier, but it’s very expensive to


[00:04:20] structure. So, what ends up happening is REITs tends to have many many assets under its portfolio. And


[00:04:30] so the whole investment profile, the whole return profile, is washed out, is averaged out across many different


[00:04:40] assets. So for you seldom you would see single asset REITs, for example. STO in this case, because it is cheaper to structure


[00:04:50] and is cheaper to issue, then it allows asset owners to structure single asset STOs, which would


[00:05:00] offer similarly more liquid capabilities so people can get in and get out easier. So that’s one of the key differences between


[00:05:10] STO and REITs. There are other differences. For example, REITs are usually traded in public markets, which is only opened during business hours. Tokens

[00:05:10] 證券型代幣和房地產投資信託。還有其他不同之處。例如,房地產投資信託通常在公開市場交易,而公開市場只在營業時間開放。代幣

[00:05:20] can be traded 24/7, and there are also these various differences as well.


[00:05:25]Darren Wong: [00:05:25] So obviously, it sounds really cool, right? I mean, just something that as a real estate investor, like,

[00:05:25]Darren Wong:[00:05:25]顯然,這聽起來很酷,對吧?我是說,作為一個房地產投資者,

[00:05:30] wow, that’s crazy. You can do that. But then, people have talked about this for a very long time, but how has it not be a mainstream? And then, in that regard,


[00:05:40] obviously it’s not mainstream yet, what kind of challenges there are for the real estate asset being tokenized?


[00:05:44]Michael Wong: [00:05:44] So on the first point, it has been talked about


[00:05:50] this concept for over a year. And however it is still relatively new. It’s a new concept, especially to investors. And I think


[00:06:00] there are a few reasons. You know, one reason obviously is they are still a lot of hurdles to get through before you can actually issue an STO, including technology,


[00:06:10] regulation, even financial considerations. But we think there’s also one key element that’s been missing in this


[00:06:20] ecosystem is exchange. A big benefit of STO is liquidity, so ability for people to exit the secondary


[00:06:30] markets, like exchanges. However, exchanges that can support security tokens need to be properly regulated and licenced. And so, this depends on the


[00:06:40] regulator giving out licences to these operators. And right now, the regulator’s from all over the world it’s still been slow in distributing


[00:06:50] these licences, so the virus definitely put a


[00:07:00] pause on all these activities as well. But we think over the next 6 to 12 months, we do expect more and more of these exchanges to pop out with


[00:07:10] proper licences and proper regulation behind them. And so once these markets appear, then hopefully these liquidity will then show up.

[00:07:10] 交易出現。因此,一旦這些市場出現,那麼希望這些流動性會出現。

[00:07:20] And so that’s one of the reasons why it hasn’t really picked up in the mainstream. And regarding your second question on why


[00:07:30] hasn’t real estate asset owners swarm to doing tokenizing these assets? I think, in a lot of cases,


[00:07:40] people are in a wait-and-see mode, whereas they don’t really want to be the first guy hooked and, so a lot of


[00:07:50] people are just waiting for more success stories before they jump into this. So this becomes a little bit of a chicken and egg where you want to have good


[00:08:00] assets out there but then you want to have good liquidity and which comes first.


[00:08:05]Darren Wong: [00:08:05] So in your opinion, what type of real estate asset type what

[00:08:05]Darren Wong:[00:08:05]那麼在你看來,什麼樣的房地產資產類型是什麼

[00:08:10] investment strategy that are best suited for tokenize? And then, what aren’t the best for tokenized?


[00:08:16]Michael Wong: [00:08:16] Yeah, so, again, because this is still a very new


[00:08:20] concept, so we want to remove as much of the uncertainties as possible. And so, by putting assets that


[00:08:30] are less risky, that are already generating regular dividends or regular yields, those types of


[00:08:40] assets, I think, would make more sense for STOs today. And also commercial properties


[00:08:50] is going to be more interesting for STO space because there are already many different ways for people to invest into residential properties. Now, whereas commercial properties are


[00:09:00] still quite limited in the accessibility of it. So we think a mixture of these type of assets would be a better fit for now.


[00:09:09]Darren Wong: [00:09:09] I

[00:09:09]Darren Wong:[00:09:09]我

[00:09:10] see. So, I know because we talk a lot before about what kind of asset and everything, right? Is there something in your mind that you think it


[00:09:20] should be, because less risky is a very broad term, is there a certain like size or even, for example, income generating and


[00:09:30] less risk? What does that mean to you? Does anyone know in your point of view, that’s it.


[00:09:33]Michael Wong: [00:09:33] I think there’s an element of, you know, how much of the market exists today. So if you throw


[00:09:40] something out that’s huge, let’s say a billion dollar worth of assets, probably the market is not there yet to pick up the whole


[00:09:50] piece of the asset. So in terms of size, I think we’re still in the 10 to 100 million dollar size,


[00:10:00] kind of the US dollar market. And in terms of risks, what we’re meaning is that there are different types of investment


[00:10:10] properties. It could be a property where you’re just buying a piece of land where the whole property hasn’t been built yet, but it needs to be built up from ground up. So


[00:10:20] those, in many cases, are what we categorise as much more risky, versus where you already have an existing building that’s in an


[00:10:30] office building and you’re already collecting rent from existing tenants. We have an ongoing track record from the returns of the


[00:10:40] property that we’ll, in our state, will categorise it as a more certain investment.


[00:10:48]Darren Wong: [00:10:48] I see. I

[00:10:48]Darren Wong:[00:10:48]我明白了。我

[00:10:50] think that I feel like if we do this, like every single year, I think it will be like, you look back to how things are becoming and evolving, that would be kind of cool in the future from


[00:11:00] speculating to it happens more cases in cases, because I obviously hope the industry goes well, too. So something that is in my mind be like, “that’s kind of cool if that happens”. And


[00:11:10] so as if to follow up, so what other components or parties need to be involved or participate to make the real estate tokenization happen or matured?


[00:11:19][00:11:20] Michael Wong: [00:11:19] They are obviously different players. There’s technology players, there are financial players and obviously the real estate players. But I think a big key component is


[00:11:30] regulators, or the government. So basically having the government behind it, and putting


[00:11:40] down the right rules and regulation to protect investors, I think that would give a lot of confidence to attract


[00:11:50] more, both retail and institutional investors to come into the space. So I think that is a big piece of this as well.


[00:11:57]Darren Wong: [00:11:57] I see. So for

[00:11:57]Darren Wong:[00:11:57]我明白了。所以

[00:12:00] existing real estate STO out there, what are things that the audience need to be aware of?


[00:12:07]Michael Wong: [00:12:07] Ultimately


[00:12:10] what the investors will be investing is the underlying asset. The token really facilitates the investment but it’s not really the point of the


[00:12:20] investment, when you’re investing is the underlying property or real estate or whatever asset it is. So I think the key is the valuation of what you’re investing


[00:12:30] should focus mainly on that asset itself, rather than the token. So this removes a lot of the


[00:12:40] speculative aspect of this. And I think that’s most important. I mean, the other parts also is you need to


[00:12:50] worry about the issuance and the service providers that are providing these tokens to you making sure that they’re


[00:13:00] legitimate. They are proper. That’s to protect you on investments.


[00:13:05]Darren Wong: [00:13:05] That’s good. Well, because like we’re both in Hong Kong and something that even I want to

[00:13:05]Darren Wong:[00:13:05]很好。嗯,因為我們都在香港,所以我想

[00:13:10] ask you, where are we with the real estate STO in Hong Kong, and then how’s activities with different countries at the moment?


[00:13:19]Michael Wong: [00:13:19] Hong Kong,


[00:13:20] frankly, has been relatively slow, compared to the rest of the world. I think the regulator has been pretty public


[00:13:30] about supporting digital assets and related business, including STO. However, we have not seen any


[00:13:40] actual licences, for example, that’s given out to exchanges. But we do expect probably maybe that was


[00:13:50] delayed by the virus pandemic. Hopefully we’ll see some progress closer to the end of this year.


[00:14:00] Compared to the US and Singapore, they actually have already issued licences to exchanges and major players in the space. So


[00:14:10] at least for now, seemingly, they’re moving a little bit faster than Hong Kong. But hopefully Hong Kong can catch up soon.


[00:14:17]Darren Wong: [00:14:17] So like you know,

[00:14:17]Darren Wong:[00:14:17]所以,你知道我曾

[00:14:20] at ASTA for a while, learning about the sharing insight about STO world and stuff like that. And there’s a lot of noise online too, and

[00:14:20] 參加過亞洲證券型代幣聯盟一段日子,學習關於STO世界的見解和諸如此類的東西。網上也有很多聲音,而且

[00:14:30] everyone have different opinions and stuff like that. What is something in this industry that you think is misunderstood or overrated?


[00:14:35]Michael Wong: [00:14:35] I think there’s a lot of


[00:14:40] misconception STO the T stands for token. But when people think about token, then a lot of people immediately associate that with ICOs


[00:14:50] or a lot back in 2017 2018, where there were a lot of frauds and scams associated with ICOs and


[00:15:00] tokens, and so people will immediately become very risk averse on accepting does that idea, even though you know token is essentially


[00:15:10] a term that we computer geeks come up with, to represent something that’s virtual. It’s


[00:15:20] really a tool, and a tool can be properly managed and the risk can be contained if


[00:15:30] there are enough protections around it. And so, STO is nothing like these type of scam tokens out there. So I think that’s one of the biggest

[00:15:30] 則可以對工具進行適當的管理並控制風險。所以,STO和外面的這些騙局一點都不像。所以我認為這是最大的

[00:15:40] misconception of them.


[00:15:41]Darren Wong: [00:15:41] I see. So for the audience, right, who might be people who are technologists, real estate owners,

[00:15:41]Darren Wong:[00:15:41]我明白了。所以對於觀眾來說,對吧,他們可能是科技專家,房地產商,

[00:15:50] or people who just want to participate in this whole movement, what would you suggest that they can participate?


[00:15:58]Michael Wong: [00:15:58] So,


[00:16:00] I think the best thing is to invest, to actually try it out. I think you won’t know how it works until you actually try it. I


[00:16:10] don’t mean going all out and put all your savings into it, but there are now more and more ways for people to


[00:16:20] get on exchanges or websites where you can actually legally buy and invest in these STOs. So I would


[00:16:30] encourage people to just try it out, put down a little bit of money just to see it and see how it works.


[00:16:34]Darren Wong: [00:16:34] So just now, I think a couple questions ago, we talked about how COVID-19 might have

[00:16:34]Darren Wong:[00:16:34]剛才,我想幾個問題之前,我們討論了新冠肺炎可能令

[00:16:40] delayed a little bit of the process, right? But then even with COVID-19 and the recession, how do you think that they impact the real estate STO movement so far?


[00:16:49]Michael Wong: [00:16:49] It’s


[00:16:50] interesting, because the pandemic, while it’s devastating to many people, forced a lot of people to think about how to do things differently.


[00:17:00] And one of the key impact is just a lot less face-to-face time. Now even you and I have to


[00:17:10] talk over Zoom now instead of meeting face to face.        


[00:17:14]Darren Wong: [00:17:14] We’re twenty minutes away, you know. I could take a cab and find you. Yeah, sorry, keep going.

[00:17:14]Darren Wong:[00:17:14]我離你只有20分鐘的車程,你知道的。所以,我可以搭計程車來找你。是的,對不起,請繼續。

[00:17:20] Sorry about that.


[00:17:20]Michael Wong: [00:17:20] No worries. So a lot of traditional means of raising capital, such as private equities, a lot of deals close


[00:17:30] after face-to-face meetings, but then now these meetings don’t occur, and which means it’s much harder to close these deals. And so STOs offer an alternative way for


[00:17:40] people to, to close deals and raise capital. Furthermore, I think the pandemic is causing a lot of valuation


[00:17:50] issues for real estate home and asset owners as well. And so, some of these guys are now looking into more alternative ways to raise capital,

[00:17:50] 我認為疫情病也給房地產房屋和資產所有者帶來了很多估值問題。所以,這些人中的一些人現在正在尋找更多的融資方式,

[00:18:00] beyond just the traditional means. And so I think STO is something that is now getting on their radar.


[00:18:07]Darren Wong: [00:18:07] Yeah, because like, I think there’s a company that I

[00:18:07]Darren Wong:[00:18:07]是的,因為我知道有一家公司

[00:18:10] think we both know are doing like virtual roadshow, and then I was like, “Oh, that’s kind of cool”, and then I was looking at some tech recently were


[00:18:20] like virtual showing, drones surveillance and stuff like that. I even, personally, I feel like this can work, everything combined together, it’s not only STOs about the investing


[00:18:30] world, about the real estate investing, how we come together to build in and more people can participate in all shape and size. And then so like the audience might not


[00:18:40] know that you’re from San Francisco, and I’m sure you have technologists thinking, what should we expect to see when it comes to the STO world in a few years time?


[00:18:50] My point of view.


[00:18:51]Michael Wong: [00:18:51] I think we would expect a much more vibrant ecosystem with a lot of different players, with exchanges, with issuers,

[00:18:51]Michael Wong:[00:18:51]我認為我們會期待一個更加充滿活力的生態系統,也會有很多不同的參與者,有交易所,有發行人,

[00:19:00] with asset owners and investors right all together and seeing this whole story play out on a global basis as


[00:19:10] well. So we’re not talking about Hong Kong people investing into Hong Kong assets, we’re talking about Hong Kong people investing into tokenize assets from the States, and people


[00:19:20] in Africa investing into assets potentially in Hong Kong. So I think that’s what we expect. It does take more time to build it out.


[00:19:30] But I think in three, four years time, this will be much more interesting.


[00:19:34]Darren Wong: [00:19:34] I see. If you have a message to everyone in the STO or real estate

[00:19:34]Darren Wong:[00:19:34]我明白了。如果你有話要告訴STO或房地產界別的每個人

[00:19:40] sector, and what would that be?


[00:19:42]Michael Wong: [00:19:42] I think what’s happening in the world today is really a strong

[00:19:42]邁克爾·王(Michael Wong):[00:19:42]我認為當今世界正在發生的事情真的是一個

[00:19:50] indication that a lot of things needs to change and how they’re done. And there’s a lot of talks about


[00:20:00] whether globalisation was to exist with this pandemic still running rampant and people can’t travel and they can’t see each other. But I think


[00:20:10] globalisation will still continue, but is in much less a physical form.


[00:20:13]Darren Wong: [00:20:13] I see.

[00:20:13]Darren Wong:[00:20:13]我明白了。

[00:20:14]Michael Wong: [00:20:14] Instead, I think a lot more things will happen online, right? We didn’t have these zoom calls much, at


[00:20:20] least much less frequent, before COVID-19. And so a lot of things will happen online, transactions will happen online, and STO is poised


[00:20:30] to replace a lot of these real-estate-type investments and transactions and activities.


[00:20:35]Darren Wong: [00:20:35] Actually, that sounds like a very good takeaway for the audience just to know what’s going on. And

[00:20:35]Darren Wong:[00:20:35]實際上,對於觀眾來說,這聽起來很不錯,因為他們知道發生了什麼。以及

[00:20:40] do you have other takeaways that you want the audience to take away from this whole video?


[00:20:45]Michael Wong: [00:20:45] Yeah, I think it’s STO again, it’s a brand new concept. I


[00:20:50] think it’s a very interesting concept, whether you’re an investor or an asset holder, it’s something that could be interesting and valuable to you. And so if you’re


[00:21:00] looking into this a little bit more and you want to learn more about it, please check out our website,,


[00:21:10] m-a-i-b-l-o-c-k-s-.-com and you can even sign up on our platform and check out on deals that we start to have on our platform. And


[00:21:20] if you’d like to talk to us personally, maiblocks, we can offer an end-to-end service in the space of Sto. And we would love


[00:21:30] to talk to you about it.                   


[00:21:31]Darren Wong: [00:21:31] That’s great. I think, Well, obviously, I will include everything in the show notes. And then I think we should meet up soon because it’s been a while.


[00:21:40] Thanks so much for your time. Because we know what Denzity insight, we cover a lot of different things. And STO has been this biggest biggest thing that


[00:21:50] I even take a long time to learn and digest everything, so I hope that we have this more often some kind of long form discussions. And then even maybe we can


[00:22:00] have this like whole every quarter of learning about STO what’s going on. So it’s something that I want to thank you for having the time to talk to us and then I hope the audience, too, will learn more about


[00:22:10] how the whole world will be coming a couple years time.


[00:22:13]Michael Wong: [00:22:13] Yeah, definitely. Thank you for taking the time to learning about our world. And I think this is a great channel for


[00:22:20] people like us to communicate new ideas to the world.


[00:22:23]Darren Wong: [00:22:23] Yeah. Thanks so much and talk to you next time then, thank you.

[00:22:23]Darren Wong:[00:22:23]是的。非常感謝,下次再和你談談,謝謝。

[00:22:26]Michael Wong: [00:22:26] Alright, see you later. Thank you. Bye bye.


[00:22:27]Darren Wong: [00:22:27] Bye bye.

[00:22:27]Darren Wong:[00:22:27]再見。