Where will Carrie Lam be living after July?

April 06, 2022 12:14
Photo: Reuters

In her decision to step down after the five-year term, outgoing Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Monday it is time for her to go home.

The question still lingers: where is her home?

Unlike her predecessors, the 42-year civil servant and her family have no property in Hong Kong. Most of the time she enjoyed the housing benefits as a senior government officer.

Before staying in the Government House for five years, she lived in the Chief Secretary residence before a five-year stint in a 1,000 square-feet unit in the Hong Kong Parkview when she was the Secretary for Development.

All eyes are on her next move because many watchers are worried about her retirement life after July.

All told, the home grown first female Chief Executive would probably stay in Hong Kong – and if history provides any guidance, it is quite likely she would be promoted to a more senior level like her predecessor Leung Chun-ying, now the Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

So that would rule out her dream to go to the United Kingdom with her husband because that would seem not to be a politically-correct move.

Too bad that Northern Metropolis, her policy to expand and further integrate with Shenzhen, is only a concept, not a reality yet and the current pandemic would bar her from moving to the Greater Bay Area, where her husband has a house in Zhongshan.

Lam, who was sanctioned by the United States because of her involvement in the National Security Law, has no banking or credit card account, which made it difficult for her to secure a mortgage in Hong Kong if she needs.

With a monthly salary of around HK$400,000, one wonders what type of property she could afford in the world’s most expensive city. She might be able to afford a high-end luxurious house in mid-levels with the first-time buyer benefit but probably far less spacious than her current 10,000 square feet mansion.

It should be noted the housing price index rose a mere 10 per cent in the last five years she presided, a slower pace of gain compared with the home price appreciation under the leadership of former chief executives Leung Chun-ying and Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, according to local papers. Property price went down more than 48 per cent during the reign of Tung Chee-hwa from 1997 to 2005.

In the final three months, Lam, who works more than 7am to 11pm, seven days per week, would find little time for flat hunting. But we wish her luck in finding a decent home for retirement.

-- Contact us at [email protected]


EJ Insight writer