HONG KONG (Reuters) – When Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam officially announced a new “Starter Homes” scheme on Wednesday to help middle-class families own their first home, 27-year-old bank employee Jeffrey Chan was left unmoved.
The combined income of Chan and his fiancee is about HK$7,000 ($897.01) short of what they need to qualify to buy a subsidized apartment under the new scheme. They will have to continue renting for now.
Research - Note - Morgan - Stanley - Households
In a research note, Morgan Stanley estimates only about 170,000 households can benefit from the plan which lets in those whose monthly income fall within a narrow band of HK$26,000 to HK$34,000 per person or HK$52,000 to $68,000 per household.
“It’s still very difficult to buy a flat. It made no difference after she spoke,” Chan, a middle office associate at an American investment bank, told Reuters. “Property is ridiculously expensive now.”
Chan - Break
Chan hadn’t expected a lucky break, so he wasn’t disappointed when he didn’t get one.
Like most people in Hong Kong, owning his own home is a life goal for Chan, and with a monthly salary of about HK$40,000, he already earns more than 85 percent of Hong Kong’s workforce where the median income is HK$17,000.
Chan - Reach - Home - Prices - High
But buying a flat is out of Chan’s reach as home prices surged to a historic high in August, with apartments across the territory now costing an average of roughly HK$12,000 per square foot (HK$130,000 per square meter), according to property agency Midland Realty.
A recent UBS report reckoned Hong Kong was the world’s most expensive city for apartments where the average living space...
38 other people are viewing this story
Wake Up To Breaking News!