Hong Kong’s real problem is not shortage of homes, but affordability of homes

Source: SCMP, Oct 5 2016

Author: Jake Van Der Kamp

I greatly respect Richard Wong’s scholarship in housing matters but sometimes I think he should take a year away from that pristine university environment and become an estate agent in the trenches of the property market.

In my view the housing shortage is a misnomer and he has ignored interest rates, the real driving force of property prices.

First, that housing shortage. There is none. We had one in the 1970s when up to 20 per cent of the population lived in squatter huts. But thanks to public housing and a big private development push these squatter towns are now gone. With only a few scattered exceptions, all holders of permanent ID cards live in formal homes.

Yes, I recognise that some people live in squalid sub-divided flats. I am sorry for them but the large majority are migrants without permanent status. Our social services cannot bear full responsibility for everyone who takes a whim to moving here.

Read more: http://www.scmp.com/business/global-economy/article/2025354/hong-kongs-real-problem-not-shortage-homes-affordability

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