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Hong Kong’s Housing Crisis Explained (Simply!)

Hong Kong’s Housing Crisis Explained (Simply!)

Hong Kong, renowned for its iconic skyscrapers and thriving economy, is facing a housing crisis of unparalleled proportions. With a population of around 7 million filling a land mass of a measly 1,104 square kilometers, the demand for housing has soared unimaginably, leading to exorbitant prices and rampant overcrowding. 

As the majority of people in Hong Kong struggle to find affordable housing, the nationwide crisis has become a pressing issue and a threat to the well-being of a lot of residents. 

In this article, we delve into the root causes of this city’s housing crisis, the impact it has on its residents, and the steps the government is taking to solve this problem. 

What is the Hong Kong housing crisis? 

The Hong Kong housing crisis refers to the lack of affordable housing options in the city, leading to the surge of property prices and a lot of residents living in cramped conditions. 

Moreover, Hong Kong has one of the most costly property markets around the globe though they also do have limited land available for development despite the high demand for housing. 

Why does Hong Kong have a housing crisis?

There are a lot of factors that contribute to why Hong Kong has a housing crisis. There has been an increase in earnings and credit availability for the lower-income population, increasing demand for housing. There has also been less affordable private housing as well as public housing. 

Want to learn more? We explain each of the potential factors contributing to this crisis in detail below. 

  1. Economists say it is possible that there has been a significant increase both in the earnings as well as credit availability for the bottom 50% of the population.
  1. It’s argued that there has been a significant decrease in the quantity of affordable private housing options. A reduced supply of economical housing equates to limited options for a lot of individuals, specifically those with lower incomes. This results in overcrowding and sometimes, homelessness. Moreover, the high cost of housing takes up a huge portion of one’s income, which results in having less money for other essentials. 
  1. The accessibility of public housing has reduced over time. Because of the limited supply, the waiting lists are longer which results in more competition for the housing options available in the market. An unfortunate possibility for this might be a lot of the citizens not having sufficient access to economical housing, which could lead to unsafe living conditions. 

Why are houses in Hong Kong so expensive? 

The houses in Hong Kong are so expensive because there isn’t enough land to accommodate everyone, which means the land on which houses are built is in short supply. When supply exceeds demand, prices for a commodity go up. 

The most recent statistics show that there are about 7 million people in Hong Kong, which means there are more or less 6,000 people per square kilometer, making it one of the most densely populated places around the globe. 

How does Hong Kong’s housing crisis negatively affect its citizens? 

The housing crisis in Hong Kong negatively affects citizens because it can eventually lead to high homelessness risk. Additionally, because of the scarcity of decent yet affordable housing, this leads to a lot of people living in unsafe or less-than-ideal living conditions. 

What are the steps the Hong Kong government is taking to solve the housing crisis? 

To solve the housing crisis, the Hong Kong government is planning on building 30,000 temporary apartments using $3.3 billion for the next 5 years. 

It is said that people who are living in shabby apartments would greatly benefit from this because it would give them an option to move out to a better home. 

However, a lot of critics have pointed out that this plan still shows that the Hong Kong government isn’t capable of giving its citizens proper permanent housing. Either way, most agree that bigger systemic overhauls may be required to address the issue properly.

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