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Government data shows home prices, rents continuing to fall Listen
Government data shows home prices have fallen for a fifth month running. According to the Rating and Valuation Department, prices fell 2.4 percent in December last year. Small and mid-sized flats no bigger than a thousand square feet saw the biggest drop of 2.78 percent, while luxury flats fell by just over one percent. But overall, prices for last year still went up by more than 1.6 percent. Rents also dropped for the second consecutive month. Nicholas Brooke, the chairman of the Professional Property Services Group, told Ben Tse that an adjustment was needed in the property market, and we’re now seeing that take place.
Record number of tourist visits in 2018 Listen
There was a record number of tourist visits to Hong Kong last year, as mainland visitors surge in the last two months after the opening of two major infrastructure projects. The number of tourist arrivals topped 65 million – up 11 percent from the previous year. Buoyed by the opening of the express rail to the mainland and the bridge to Macau and Zhuhai, mainland tourists soared by more than 20 percent in both November and December, compared with the same period in 2017. Polytechnic University tourism management professor, Bob McKercher, told Annemarie Evans that a deeper look at the numbers reveals some underlying concerns.
Afghan athletes seek asylum in Australia Listen
Six members of the team representing Afghanistan at the 2018 Invictus Games in Sydney have decided not to go home. The games, founded by UK’s Prince Harry in 2014, feature teams of athletes made up of sick and injured service personnel from the competing countries. The Afghan athletes say they claimed asylum in Australia and that they feel Afghanistan isn't a good place to have a disability. They're currently living legally in Australia while they wait for the outcome of their applications. RTHK’s Australia correspondent Gerry Gannon told Annemarie Evans about some of the reasons why the athletes were seeking asylum.