5 December 2019
Although property prices continue to soar, the desire of people to own a home has become even stronger. Photo: Bloomberg
Although property prices continue to soar, the desire of people to own a home has become even stronger. Photo: Bloomberg

So you think you’ll be happy once you acquire your own home?

Who doesn’t dream of having their own home?

That’s the reason why Hong Kong youth are frustrated and angry: they feel no matter how hard they strive, they won’t be able to afford one.

But as residential units are getting smaller and smaller, their desire to own a home has become even stronger – no matter if a shoebox flat in Tuen Mun or Yuen Long costs over HK$20,000 per square foot these days.

(Well, they can get a bigger unit if, as some SAR officials are advising, they chase their dreams in the Greater Bay Area, but that is another story.)

So it is interesting to know that buying a home is not foremost in the minds of American youngsters.

In fact, most of those who have acquired their own homes in America now regret their decision.

According to a recent survey by New York-based personal finance website, six in 10 millennial homeowners in the city regret having purchased their own apartments, while four in 10 admit that they simply could not afford a down payment.

All along we thought home ownership is the most coveted part of the American dream. Well, that’s true for close to 80 percent of the respondents in the survey. But still, 44 percent of all homeowners regretted their home purchase.

Why? Among the major reasons are the hidden costs, which 18 percent of the homeowners in the survey found puzzling.

Many first-time home buyers were surprised to find out, for example, that they have to pay for a new air-conditioner or water heater.

Like most Hongkongers, Americans find themselves struggling after paying a sizeable down payment.

Many middle-class workers in the US, just like in our city, see a disconnect between soaring home prices and stagnant wage growth.

According to a recent rental and housing affordability report from ATTOM Data Solutions, median home prices rose faster than average weekly wages in 80 percent of US counties.

Now, would such reports and surveys about the US property market make you feel a little bit better?

Some may say that misery loves company. But no matter how bitter some young people may feel, no matter if others live to regret their decision to buy their own home, I am sure the young people of Hong Kong will soldier on to attain their dream. 

– Contact us at [email protected]


EJ Insight writer