Saturday, 8 January 2011

Word of the Day: Shrinking Apartments

At lunch today my friend and I were talking about apartments and how he lives in an older building in the Kowloon side.

I quickly remarked that was a good thing, as those flats would be bigger.

He agreed and said, it wasn't one of those 缩水楼 (suo1shui3lou2) or "shrinking apartments".

New flats in Hong Kong are rarely the actual square footage advertised -- that's because the public spaces such as the hallway and lobby were also included in the floor area of the apartment.

It's such an appropriate expression, "shrinking apartments", as developers scheme more ways of making more money out of people slaving away to buy a piece of property in the sky.

Don't they have enough dough as it is? According to Forbes Asia's 2011 rich list, Hong Kong's 40 wealthiest tycoons have a collective net worth of $163 billion, a fifth more than last year ($135 billion).

Unlike the city's wage earners, whose real wages fell after adjusting for inflation, the increase for Hong Kong's top 40 was well ahead of the inflation rate, which was 2.9 percent in November.

Lee Ka-shing is still at number one with $24 billion, $21.3 billion last year; the Kwoks who control Sun Hung Kai Properties were second with $20 billion; and Lee Shau-Kee, chairman of Henderson Land Development was third with $19.5 billion. Notice these numbers are all in US dollars, not HK dollars.

Property prices are still going up in Hong Kong, making it near impossible for the rest of us to make our millions and own a home too unless we hit the jackpot in the Mark Six lottery.

We can only dream.

1 comment:

  1. you forget to mention they even include the elevator shaft area in their calculations. the hong kong government has no desire or is inept to control real estate prices. it is a gang-up between the government an the tycoons. pity the little people, the poor and the homeless.