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Housing in Hong Kong

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Last Updated: 23 October 2020

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According to the 2017 Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, HONG Kongs Housing is severely unaffordable. Credit: Chris Goldberg, Creative Commons. Most global cities experience challenges in providing affordable housing. For the second city in our series on affordable Housing, we examine HONG KONG, Special Administrative Region of China. Hong KONG, with 7. 3 million residents, has an independent economy and conducts its own commercial and international agreements. Its housing, however, is severely unaffordable, according to the 2017 Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey. Demographia Survey measures Housing Affordability by dividing an area's median home price by its gross median household income, measure known as house price - to - income ratio. Ratio of less than 3. 0 is considered affordable, and a ratio of more than 5. 1 is considered severely unaffordable. Hong KONG's house price - to - income ratio is 18. 1, meaning that, city's median annual household income of HK $300 000, median cost of home is more than HK $5. 4 million. Some housing researchers attribute this extreme ratio to forces of supply and demand, whereas others believe that the problem is not lack of housing but government control of land, which artificially inflates prices. Land premium charges levied by the HONG KONG government make up 50 percent of the total cost of development projects. Developers from mainland China purchase much of this land at extremely high prices, driving many smaller, local developers out of business, and the resulting apartments are sold for record profits. Recently, two Chinese developers paid more than $2 billion for city plot, which exceeded its value by nearly 50 percent. Only under exceptional circumstances, such as the 1998 Asian financial crisis and 2003 respiratory syndrome outbreak known as severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, has HONG KONG housing market seen affordable levels. In HONG KONG, homes are called estates. Although these estates can be detached homes, apartment towers are the most common form of housing. Estates may be sold or rented through various government subsidy programs. Those programs include Public Rental Housing Estates, most numerous; Home Ownership Scheme; Tenants Purchase Scheme; Flat - for - Sale Scheme; and Sandwich Class Housing Scheme, Housing build for Sale to middle - income residents who don't qualify for low - income Public Housing but cannot afford private housing. These programs are all designed for homeownership except for the Public Rental Housing Estates program, which is managed by HONG KONG Housing Authority and HONG KONG Housing Society and leases to low - income residents. Without subsidized programs, it is unclear how working - class residents could afford a home at all;. Hong KONG's minimum wage is currently HK $34. 50 per hour, and the Public Rental Housing Estates program alone houses more than 30 percent of the city's population. These renters face battery of means tests and waiting lists that can exceed 3 years. Those who have fulfil eligibility criteria for Public Housing are provided interim housing while awaiting housing allocation.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Housing statistics

Average Domestic Household Size

Year (as 31 March)200020052010
Public Permanent Housing3.53.23.0
- Average household size in Public Rental Housing3.53.12.9
- Average Living Space per Person in PRH estates10.4 sqm11.7 sqm12.6 sqm
- Average PRH flat size (calculated)36.4 sqm36.3 sqm36.5 sqm
- Average household size in Subsidized Sale Flats3.53.43.2
Average household size in Private Permanent Housing3.12.92.9
Average household size in Public Temporary Housing2.3--
Average household size in Private Temporary Housing2.72.32.4

Private Housing in Hong Kong includes tenement buildings, stand - alone buildings, private housing estates, villas and village houses. Flat sizes are sometimes even smaller than Home Ownership Courts, since most flats are aimed at the same group of low - income people as public housing, and private developers are desperate to fit as many units as possible under permissible gross floor area. The difference are facilities: swimming pools, security guards, and large private estates have shopping centres on first floors. There are NO official statistics about the average size of private housing. No wonder that may be under average HOS flat size. Old apartments are bigger than today's ones, many of them were subdivided illegally into 10 - 15 sqm units or even smaller. Since this is illegal, nobody tracks the size of them. According khournal. Org, over 90% of Hong Kong families today live in homes smaller than 700 square feet. Some statistics about private housing, especially about prices, count only apartments less than 70 sqm. Probably that is the limit over which price per square foot increase like crazy. Some private developments contain apartments as big as 200 - 500 sqm, They are some of the most expensive apartments in the world. Example: most expensive in June 2008, most expensive in Oct 2009.

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Distribution of Population by Type of Housing

Year (as 31 March)200020052010
Mid-year Population6,665,0006,813,0007,061,000
Public Permanent Housing50.748.547.5
- Rental Flats35.130.129.7
- Subsidized Sale Flats15.618.417.8
Private Permanent Housing47.950.651.6
Public Temporary Housing0.1--
Private Temporary Housing1.30.90.9

Land Domestic Households

Year (as 31 March)200020052010
Public Permanent Housing47.846.446.5
- Rental Flats33.329.830.1
- Subsidized Sale Flats14.516.616.4
Private Permanent Housing50.552.452.4
Public Temporary Housing0.1--
Private Temporary Housing1.61.31.1

Stock of Permanent Residential Flats

Year (as 31 March)200020052010
Overall211524082537
Public Housing101610961135
- HA PRH Flats651661674
- Housing Authority Interim Housing Flats485
- Housing Society Rental Flats333334
- Housing Authority Subsidized Sale Flats310368376
- Housing Society Subsidized Sale Flats191817
Private Housing109913121401
* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

High Costs

Hong KONG is the most expensive city in the world for those looking to buy a home, new research show. Publish Thursday, real estate firm CBRE's fifth annual Global Living report analyzes property markets across 35 cities. Asia dominates the list of the world's most expensive property markets. Hong KONG held its position as most expensive city for the fifth consecutive year, while Singapore came in second and Shanghai was ranked third. According to a report, average price of a home in HONG KONG in 2019 is more than $1. 2 million. High demand and short supply have driven property prices to unaffordable levels in recent years, with the territory planning to build an $80 billion artificial island to help fix the crisis. The Chinese cities of Shenzhen and Beijing were also named among the ten costliest cities for home buyers, ranking in fifth and ninth place respectively. Vancouver - where the average home costs $815 322 - was the most expensive North American city and the fourth most expensive place in the world to buy a home, according to data. Los Angeles and New York also made the top ten. London, named eighth most expensive city for buying a home, was Europe's priciest city, according to CBRE. Potential buyers in the UK capital are looking at an average house price of $646 973 in 2019. The cheapest cities for buying residential property were Istanbul, Ho Chi Minh City, and Bangkok. Meanwhile, Barcelona, Dublin, and Shanghai were seeing the most rapid growth in house prices, CBRE say. When it comes to the rental market, most expensive city was New York, where the average monthly price of rent hit $2 844. Abu Dhabi and HONG KONG were the next most expensive areas for renters, both with average monthly rental costs of more than $2 700. Year - on - year rental growth was highest in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, where prices grew by more than 20%. The cheapest cities for renting property, meanwhile, were Bangkok, Istanbul and Montreal, although data was unavailable for five cities. In general, we are seeing house price growth slow across our cities as we move towards the end of the long property cycle, Jennet Siebrits, head of residential research at CBRE UK, said in a press release Thursday. We expect increasing interest rates to affect cities in the US, and various cooling measures to affect the Asia Pacific region.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Segmentation

Table

YearNominalInflation-adjusted
200928.526.5
201021.017.7
201111.15.1
201225.721.2
20137.73.3
201413.68.2
20152.40.1
20167.96.6
201714.712.8
20181.9-0.6
20195.32.4

Hong Kong's ongoing economic slowdown and social unrest will have a negative impact on buyer sentiment next year, but the luxury segment is expected to remain resilient, according to a report Tuesday. In 2020, average home prices in semi - autonomous regions are expected to drop 8% from its peak in May 2019, or 5% year - over - year, according to Knight Frank HONG KONG. The luxury segment, however, will be a lot less sensitive to negative conditions than the general market, Maggie Lee, senior director and head of residential agency at Knight Frank HONG KONG, said in a release on Tuesday. Some buyers may take a wait - and - See attitude, but we saw that in the past couple of months, investment appetite of high - net - worth individuals remain, she say. We expect the luxury and super luxury segment to be resilient to the faltering economy through the current downturn, and prices to remain stable in 2020. Since March, HONG KONG has been rocked by a series of protests, triggered by the proposal of the Anti - Extradition Law Amendment Bill, which would eventually subject HONG KONG residents and visitors to China Mainlands jurisdiction. The Bill was finally withdrawn on Oct. 23, but demonstrations, and conflicts between police and demonstrators continue. The overall residential market in HONG KONG will not crash, either, partly due to government relaxation on mortgage cap rate for first - time buyers, said Thomas Lam, Executive director and head of valuation and advisory at Knight Frank HONG KONG. In October, government announced its plan to allow first - time buyers to pay only a 10% down payment for a home value up to HK $8 million; cap was previously HK $4 million. Properties worth between HK $6 million and HK $8 million will become the main demand drivers in the market, and will drive up transaction volume by as much as 20% to 30% in the next three to four months, Mr. Lam say. From Penta JP Morgans List of What to Read, See, and Do in 2020 Focuses on Innovation and Transformation across China mainland, residential real estate market will likely continue its path to slowdown, said David Ji, director and head of research and consultancy at Knight Frank Greater China. He predicts that home prices in Tier - 1 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, will grow 3% to 5% in 2020. For many years, these cities had See double - digit increases in home prices. Meanwhile, home prices in other Chinese cities are expected to grow at an even slower pace, at 2% to 3%, according to Mr. Ji. Bright spot for investors outside Tier - 1 cities will be China's Greater Bay Area, including cities such as Zhongshan, Jiangmen, Zhuhai and Dongguan, which are all located in proximity to HONG KONG. The area will benefit from its infrastructure development, currently low housing prices, and governments easing restrictions on home purchases by HONG KONG residents. Home prices in these cities are expected to increase 3% to 5% next year, Mr. Ji say.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Hong Kongs Housing Crisis

Table

YearNominalInflation-adjusted
200928.526.5
201021.017.7
201111.15.1
201225.721.2
20137.73.3
201413.68.2
20152.40.1
20167.96.6
201714.712.8
20181.9-0.6
20195.32.4

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Poor Housing Conditions

Table

YearNominalInflation-adjusted
200928.526.5
201021.017.7
201111.15.1
201225.721.2
20137.73.3
201413.68.2
20152.40.1
20167.96.6
201714.712.8
20181.9-0.6
20195.32.4

As we have show, Hong Kong's housing shortage has a long history that dates back to the beginnings of the colonial era. In this respect, present generation shares similar problems with those faced by Hongkongers who lived in the city decades ago. In the 1960s, Harold Ingrams, British officer, traveled to Hong Kong and described in a book his impressions of Colony. In the following excerpts, Ingrams explains the situation that he finds in tenements and squatter areas: LIVERPOOL with 860 000 inhabitants or Glasgow with 1 124 000 are great cities covering large areas, yet cities of Hong Kong and Kowloon with populations of comparable size are in areas quite small. One soon has no doubt that the vast majority of people must live in appalling conditions, but nothing except actual visits can give an adequate idea of the realities of the situation. Most of the Chinese population live in four - storeyed tenements. Many of them were built in the early days of Colony when town planning was little practised even in Europe, and Hong Kong has no legislation to require compulsory demolition of such premises. Those built later have scavenging lanes, rendering provision of proper bathrooms and latrines possible, but older ones have no lanes and are built back - to - back. In some ways, conditions in this modern and wealthy tropical city of Hong Kong are worse than they were in England in 1840. The Report of the Health of Towns Committee in that year speaks of single - storeyed small houses put up by speculative builders in Manchester. They are built back to back; without ventilation or drainage: and like a honeycomb, every particle of space is occupy. Double rows of these houses form courts, with perhaps pump at one end and privy at the other, common to occupants of about twenty homes. In Hong Kong, these tenements are four storeys high, so that conditions are worse. It has become understandable how human beings are packed at 2 000 and more to acre. If there is one thing that saved disaster in Hong Kong, it is the labour of the Sanitary Department, but it is wrong that it should have to contend with such conditions. The upper storeys of practically all tenements are reached by narrow, dark stairs between two blank walls. They are always steep, treads narrow, and hand - rails often break. They are also generally unswept and untidy. When you find an actual flat, cubicle or bedspace in which family lives clean and well kept, you wonder at first why passages and stairs are so dirty, and when you have found the reason, you have part of the answer to Chinese character. Chinese are individualist. My favourite proverb is sweep snow from your own doorstep but dont bother with ice on your neighbours ' roof. To Chinese tenement dwellers, stairs and passages are no more than street outside.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

The Solution

Table

YearNominalInflation-adjusted
200928.526.5
201021.017.7
201111.15.1
201225.721.2
20137.73.3
201413.68.2
20152.40.1
20167.96.6
201714.712.8
20181.9-0.6
20195.32.4

In response to Hong Kong's pressing housing crisis, government has announced plans to provide more affordable homes in the next decade. It plans to add 280 000 public homes and 180 000 private homes by 2027. The straight - forward solution that the government propose is to increase the land supply. There is a plan for land reclamation to build 4 200 acres of artificial islands to meet housing demands. First Island would create space for 260 000 flats, of which 70 percent would be public housing. However, land reclamation is expensive, potentially destructive to the environment and could take decades to reach completion. The housing crisis in Hong Kong is in need of more immediate solutions. Some are in favor of rent controls in Hong Kong to keep property prices affordable. In October 2019, government will propose to redevelop about 700 hectares of unused private land for Public Housing in Hong Kong's northern New Territories region. Several Hong Kong conglomerates have shown support for providing more affordable housing to alleviate the housing problem in the city. New World Development announced its decision to donate three million square feet of farmland for Public Housing. It also shows willingness to donate more land to other nonprofit organizations and charity that provide social housing. Sun Hung Kai Properties also declared its aim to cooperate with the government to construct affordable housing on rural land zones for subsidized housing.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Housing headache

Table

YearNominalInflation-adjusted
200928.526.5
201021.017.7
201111.15.1
201225.721.2
20137.73.3
201413.68.2
20152.40.1
20167.96.6
201714.712.8
20181.9-0.6
20195.32.4

- Hong Kong Real Estate stocks have had a tough 12 months. Anti - government protests delivered the first blow when they escalated last June. Then coronavirus outbreak cripples cities economy. Now, Beijing's surprise plan to impose a national security law is spurring a new wave of selling. It some wave: Wharf Real Estate Investment Co. Plunge on record on Friday, while Sino Land Co. And Link REIT were both heading for their worst day since 2008. New World Development Co. Was poised for its biggest retreat in more than three years. Losses helped drag down the MSCI Hong Kong Index by 5. 4%. It may be that investors are concerned that the new law will trigger even more violent protests. Certainly, the economy is already suffering, while developers have turned more cautious on outlook for property. The Hong Kong government this week sold a large residential plot at a cheaper price than expect, while last week it failed to sell another big site after bids failed to meet its needs. Home prices in the world's priciest city for real estate have so far held up well amid economic distress, declining barely more than 1% since January. But the prospect of prolonged street protests doesnt augur well for home sales, shopping or office rents. According to Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Patrick Wong and Michael Tam, Hong Kong landlords could see a rise in vacancy rates for commercial properties if unrest continues for an extended period. There may also be concern that new national security law would prompt some property owners to shift assets out of the city. Hong Kong has long been seen as an overseas haven for China rich to park cash. Perhaps now the former British colony will be seen as just another Chinese city, and too close to Beijing scrutiny for comfort. The third risk is that the city becomes something of a battleground between China and the US, which may also spur outflows. US President Donald Trump said Thursday that the US will address very strongly any Hong Kong crackdown. Two US senators also proposed a bipartisan bill that would sanction enforcers of the proposed law, while Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has delayed an annual report on whether Hong Kong still enjoys a high degree of autonomy from Beijing.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Blurred vision

Table

YearNominalInflation-adjusted
200928.526.5
201021.017.7
201111.15.1
201225.721.2
20137.73.3
201413.68.2
20152.40.1
20167.96.6
201714.712.8
20181.9-0.6
20195.32.4

The people of HONG KONG, special administrative region of China, have traditionally enjoyed substantial civil liberties and the rule of Law under their local constitution, Basic Law. However, Chief Executive and half of the Legislative Council are chosen through indirect electoral systems that favor pro - Beijing interests, and territorys freedoms and autonomy have come under threat in recent years due to growing political and economic pressure from the mainland. The Chief Executive, who serves a five - year term, is chosen by a a 200 - member election committee. Some 200 000 functional constituency votersrepresentatives of elite business and social sectors, many with close Beijing tieselect, 900 of committee members, and the remaining 300 consist of LegCo members, HONG KONG delegates to China NPC, religious representatives, and HONG KONG members of Chinese Peoples Political Consultative Conference, Chinese government advisory body. In 2017, Carrie Lam, former deputy to outgoing Chief Executive Leung Chun - ying and Beijing's favourite candidate, was chosen as HONG Kongs fourthand first womanchief Executive, with 777 election committee votes. Her main opponent, former Financial Secretary John Tsang, received just 365 votes despite drawing far more support than Lam in public opinion polls. As in the past, selection process features reports of heavy lobbying by central government representatives. Of Legcos 70 seats, 30 are elected by functional constituency voters, 35 are chosen through direct elections in five geographical constituencies, and the remaining five are directly elected after nominations by HONG Kongs 18 district councils from among their own members. Members serve four - year terms. In the September 2016 elections, growing movement emphasizing localism and self - determination emerged to compete with existing pro - Beijing and prodemocracy camps. Candidates from this Movement, which grew out of the 2014 Umbrella Movement, won six seats. Other prodemocracy parties took 23 seats, while pro - Beijing parties won 40; Independent took the remaining seat. Authorities have responded to the new opposition dynamic by tightening qualification rules, forcing out some lawmakers, and making it increasingly difficult for localist and prodemocracy candidates to win office. In October 2016, after several localist and prodemocracy LegCo members altered their oaths of office as a form of protest, oaths of two newly elected localistsSixtus, Baggio Leung Chung - Hang and Yau Wai - ching were reject. Npc in Beijing issued an unusual Basic Law interpretation that November, requiring oaths to be taken sincerely and solemnly, and the High Court then affirmed two representatives ' disqualifications. In August 2017, HONG Kongs Court of Final Appeal upheld the decision. In July 2017, court granted the government request to remove four other LegCo members who made political statements during their 2016 swearing - in ceremoniesNathan, Law Kwun - Chung, Lau Siu - lai, Edward Yiu Chung - yim and Leung Kwok - hungeven though their oaths had been accepted by LegCo at time. In September 2017, Lau and Leung indicated their intent to appeal the decision, meaning by - elections to fill their seats would be postpone. By - elections for the remaining four seats left vacant by oath - related disqualifications were held in March 2018, and prodemocracy candidates won only two of these seats.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Housing types in Hong Kong

Stamp Duty Rates

Length of TenancyRate
Not Defined/Uncertain0.25% of the average yearly rent
Under 1 Year0.25% of total payable rent
Between 1 and 3 Years0.5% of the yearly or average yearly rent
Over 3 Years1% of the yearly or average yearly rent

Let us discuss two types of housing that you can find in Hong Kong: This is the type of housing that most Hongkongers want to buy. Most public housing units are rented by the government at very low prices. However, some units are constructed for the purpose of selling. These are sold under various programmes and payment schemes. The price is significantly lower than what you would pay if you bought a private unit. Of course, low price has catch. Not everyone may qualify to purchase a unit from the Public Housing Scheme. Although around half of Hong Kong's population lives in rented public houses, not everyone is eligible to buy a unit. There are four different ways you can purchase a unit. Home Ownership Scheme. This is available for those who are currently renting through the Public Rental Housing Scheme and have a low - income. It allows qualified buyers to purchase new units that are constructed specifically for selling. Tenants Purchase Scheme. This is also an option for those living through PRH. If case tenant wants to purchase the unit they are currently living in, this is a scheme that they need to look into. Flat - for - Sale Scheme. This is the same as HOS but is managed by Hong Kong Housing Society. Prices are low and can be bought through HKHS or Home Ownership Centre. The elderly are given priority in this scheme. Sandwich Class Housing Scheme. This is for those who are not eligible for the Public Housing Scheme and cannot afford a private unit. According to the Housing Authority, as of March 2015, there were 395 600 subsidise flats available under HOS. Take note that these units cannot be resold on the open market within a specific time frame because you will be penalise for it. While it does seem like there are many flats to be sell, you need to know that there is a long waiting list. In fact, it will take at least three years before you can live in your unit. Another type of property that you can buy in Hong Kong is private housing. South China Morning Post report that the supply of private houses will rise to 15 700 units by the end of 2014. Another 74 000 new flats are expected to be constructed by 2018 to 2019. This means that there is a sustainable supply of flats despite growing concerns about the housing market. Even though these units are more expensive, people opt to invest in them because they like the convenience and the luxury flats bring. However, demand for private houses is not greater than that of public housing market. Obviously, price plays an important role. The Legislative Council Secretariat states that private housing units are classified into five classes: to E. Those with small / medium - sized flats fall under Class; Class B; Class C. Class D consists of large - size flats while Class E is from 160 sqm onwards.


Renting a House or Apartment

Short - term rentals are handy in Hong Kong. That is because, in a lot of cases, apartments advertise for long - term contracts do not look the same in real life as they do online and visiting them before you sign papers is highly advise. The average price for rentals depends on the area and size of room you need. For small one - bedroom apartment, can be anything from 8 000 to 28 000 HKD per month. Taking a quick look online should give you a good idea of what you should expect from temporary rentals of your preference. Most of time, monthly rentals are furnish, fully serviced apartments. Usually, you do not need any specific documents to sign a short - term lease; proof of ID is often sufficient enough.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Sources

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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