Date
19 July 2018
Among Chinese buyers, Hongkongers’ wait for a property unit is the longest compared with Beijing’s 14.5 years, Shanghai’s 14 years and Tianjin’s 10 years. Photo: Reuters
Among Chinese buyers, Hongkongers’ wait for a property unit is the longest compared with Beijing’s 14.5 years, Shanghai’s 14 years and Tianjin’s 10 years. Photo: Reuters

HK home prices world’s most unaffordable for 7th straight year

Hong Kong property prices have grown to 18.1 times the median household income, with the disparity level the highest in the world, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

For the seventh year in a row, Hong Kong topped the Global Property Price Capability survey, with house prices listed as “extremely unaffordable”, according to Demographia, a US property consultant. 

The figure means it will take at least 18.1 years for an average household to own an apartment in Hong Kong even if there were no other expenses.

Demographia ranked the ratio of the median price of property to the median household income of 406 big cities.

The cities were ranked only after they have exceeded the 5.1-times mark, or “severely unaffordable”.

Since the inclusion of Hong Kong in the survey in 2010, the ratio of home ownership burdens has surged to a record high of 19 times and dropped only slightly last year.

That reflects the downward adjustment in property prices in the first quarter last year and a slight improvement in pay levels.

However, the supply of land continues to be inadequate and property prices have risen again since last year.

Coming in at second is Sydney with housing prices at 12.2 times the median household income, which means Australians could acquire an apartment six years earlier than their Hong Kong counterparts.

Another third-party survey cited by Demographia compared Hong Kong with other mainland cities.

It found that Hongkongers’ wait for a property unit is the longest compared with Beijing’s 14.5 years, Shanghai’s 14 years and Tianjin’s 10 years.

Lee Siu-po, an associate dean in the Chinese University of Hong Kong, blamed the shortage of land supply for the high prices.

He said residential supply will remain inadequate along with hotels, international schools and office buildings.

Also, Lee said the appreciation of the renminbi will attract mainland investors to buy property in Hong Kong. A devaluation will also attract them to Hong Kong as a hedge.

Despite the high property prices, many are still buying homes, with more than 1,000 deals made over the past three weeks alone in first-hand property projects.

[Chinese version 中文版]

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EL/AC/RA

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