Date
13 December 2017
Some Hongkongers live in illegal subdivided homes because they can't afford to buy a flat, but they are not spared from rising rents. Photo: HKEJ
Some Hongkongers live in illegal subdivided homes because they can't afford to buy a flat, but they are not spared from rising rents. Photo: HKEJ

Hong Kong will not regulate subdivided homes

The government will not introduce new regulations on the creation of subdivided homes or the terms of their leases, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Wednesday.

In the city’s new blueprint for housing policy for the next decade, the government estimates the number of subdivided housing units at 86,400, including 5,400 without a concrete partition between them.

The estimate is 30 percent higher than the 66,900 for last year and 64,900 in 2011.

The government said any new regulations on subdivided homes might produce unintended consequences. It gave a potential reduction in the number of low-cost rental units as an example.

Property agents said the average rent of subdivided units has jumped 10-15 percent over the past year.

About 50 percent of households living in subdivided units spend more than a quarter of household income on rent, a survey by the Society for Community Organization showed. 

The survey found that 44.5 percent faced an increase in rent at least once in the past two years.

Market observers expect the number of subdivided units to increase drastically in the absence of proper regulation.

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VW/JP/FL

Freelance journalist

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