Can Olympics medalists afford a flat in Olympic station?

August 04, 2021 14:52
Olympics gold medalist Cheung Ka-long Photo:  Hong Kong Fencing Association

They won Tokyo Olympics medals, but they might not afford a flat at the Olympic station.

Olympics gold medalist and fencing king Cheung Ka-long and swim queen Siobhan Haughey with two silver medals manage to reach the top of the sports world, but they might have trouble keeping up with the escalating home price in Hong Kong.

Right, Cheung and Haughey would get HK$5 million each as special bonus, thanks to Henderson Land. Cheung would receive another HK$2.5 million from a charitable foundation of Lam Tai-fai, Hong Kong Sports Institute chairman.

That would put Cheung on par with the other Asian winners, most notably heavy weight champion Hidilyn Diaz, who took home around 52 million pesos (US$1.04 million) for winning the first-ever gold medal for the Philippines.

By the way, no worry for Haughey, thanks to her well off parents.

Winning medals could make a big difference to the financial wellbeing of an athlete.

For Cheung, he would get a whole life free MTR ticket. And along with other medalists, he would get free business tickets from Cathay Pacific for one year.

The commercial ad, product sponsors and social media companies would throw money to these award-winning athletes, or even the badminton duo Tse Ying-suet and Tang Chun-man and women table-tennis trio Doo Hoi-kem, Winnie Soo and Lee Ho-ching who put in some marvelous Olympics games for Hong Kong.

Still, they might need to try harder to catch up with the rising property prices in Hong Kong. The latest Private Domestic Property Price Index in May surged to 393.7, slightly lower than record 396.9 in May 2019 despite the pandemic.

Though this year has seen many families leave Hong Kong, and mainland buyers have been inactive due to stringent border control, the cruel fact is there are many rich people in Hong Kong, and they are looking to property for better returns in a globally low interest rate environment.

A two-bedroom flat in the Olympics Station, Tai Kok Tsui, is priced at between HK$15 million and HK$20 million – which suggests our Hong Kong Olympics medalists might have to win the Paris Olympics if they want to fully pay up for their home.

Think about Sarah Lee Wai-sze, the London Olympics bronze track cyclist. The famous and friendly sprinter dubbed “Cycling Goddess of Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate" has been practicing almost 10 hours per day for her career and she just needs to ride a bit faster to catch up with the home market.

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EJ Insight writer