Friday, 23 January 2015

Fact of the Day: Hong Kong has World's Least Affordable Homes

Hong Kong is a city of shoe boxes people are scrimping and saving to live in
Should we be surprised? But the numbers are bare to see.

The rankings came out this week -- with Hong Kong having the unenviable position of having the least affordable real estate market in the world, followed by Vancouver in an annual report by Demographia International Affordability Survey.

It tracks 378 metropolitan markets in Canada, the United States, Australia, China, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

The survey calculates affordability by comparing median house prices with median incomes - the higher the home prices relatives to incomes, the more unaffordable the market.

Last August a survey by Chinese University of Hong Kong calculated that a couple would have to save all their income without eating for 14 years to afford a 400-square-feet flat in the city.

"When we conducted our first survey in 2002, a typical household would need only five years' savings to buy at 400 sq ft flat in Kowloon," explained Terence Chong Tai-leung, associate professor in the university's department of economics. "Now they would have to stop eating and live [on the streets] for 14 years to save enough money for a flat."

How encouraging. Which explains that because income does not match rising property prices and rents, people put off getting married and having children.

Meanwhile in Vancouver, the Demographia survey said the median home price was CAD$704,800, 10.6 times higher than the median household income of CAD$66,400 in 2014.

That's the worst affordability ranking Vancouver has ever received in the survey's 11-year-history, compared to 10.3 times higher than incomes in 2013. By the way, Hong Kong is rated 17.0 times higher than incomes this year, the highest ever recorded in the study too.

Surely this is going to fuel more discontent for those in the Umbrella Movement who are angry this and many other social and economic issues have not been addressed... which is probably why this story wasn't given much if any coverage in Hong Kong media...


  1. Many of those who should know better blame the Umbrella Movement for lowering Hong Kong's liveability ranking, etc. They are blaming the messengers and need to wake up and realize that those ills are worth protesting and trying to heal!

    1. HI YTSL Well said! The government and the powers that be really need to tackle this crucial issue otherwise the Hong Kong population going to sleep on the streets...

  2. Before the handover, new public estates are regularly built along with newly HOS flats....but since 1997, not one single public estate flat been built by the CCP HK gov't...

    go figure why one needs to save 17 years of their wages in order to buy a roof over one's heads...

    1. Hi nulle -- the housing issue has been so badly handled since the handover... hence not much have been built and yet people are clamouring to be able to buy roofs over their heads...