Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Hong Kong - capitalism without comment

The original source for the story below was the Hong Kong paper Apple Daily. I have taken it from the East West North South blog.


Here are the monthly rental rates (in HKD/square foot) at some of the more famous luxury high-rise apartment complexes.

The Harbour Side, Kowloon Station, HKD 31-42 per square foot

Hillsborough Court, Mid Levels, Hong Kong Island, HKD 27-42 per square foot

However, the winner goes to something completely different at the other end of the wealth spectrum.
Between April and June this year, the Society for Community Organisation interviewed 267 residents who live in "cage houses" and boarded rooms in the Shum Shui Po, Tai Kok Tsui, Yau Tsim Mong and To Kwa Wan districts of China.
The study show that the rent for 10.7% of units rose as a result of the financial tsunami, even as much as 40% in one case. The median month rental rate for "cage houses"/boarded rooms rose from 23.9 HKD/square foot in 2007 to 32.9 HKD/square foot. In particular, 20% of the units had month rental rates as high as 93.3 HKD/square foot.
The median area of a "cage" is 18 square feet. The public areas of toilet and kitchen are shared by 10 persons.
The survey also showed that 40% of the interviewees were unemployed, twice as high as in 2006. 24% of the interviewees said that their income as diminished by over 30% since the financial tsunami. Most of the "cage house" inhabitants are welfare recipients or low-income earners. Even among those employed interviewees, their median monthly income is 6,000 yuan, which is 40% less than the media monthly income for all Hong Kong. The interviewees pay 30% of their monthly income on rent.
The Society for Community Organisation director said that about 100,000 Hong Kong people reside in "cage houses" and "boarded rooms." Demand is always higher than supply. Therefore, the rent prices have not gone down during the financial tsunami. "The occupancy rate for "cage houses" and boarded rooms" is 100%, so the landlords are not worried about not having any renters."

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