Home ownership out of reach for young Hong Kongers

Financial planner Jason Chan lives in a 500 sq ft, three-bedroom flat in Wan Chai district with his family of five.

The 27-year-old has yearned to move out of his tiny family home where he shares a room with his younger brother.

But his monthly salary of HK$20,000 (S$3,700) far exceeds the income ceiling for public housing. And a private flat is beyond his means.

Many young Hong Kongers are frustrated with squeezing into tiny flats with several family members, yet are unable to afford one on their own.

A Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups study released last week found that only 26 per cent of respondents aged between 18 and 34 plan to buy a flat, down from 55 per cent a decade ago. Many cited high property prices and high down payments as the main issues.

For instance, a 268 sq ft flat in Wan Chai can cost as much as HK$5.5 million (S$1 million), according to realtors.

Two Hong Kongers have filed for a judicial review challenging the government's public housing policy in which one could wait as long as 32 years for a rental flat. They are among 134,000 singles on the waiting list for a public flat.

Read also: HK govt: 1 million flats needed by 2046​

This article was first published on Nov 23, 2016.
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