Hong Kong Housing Problem Is Not Only Attributed to the High Population Density

Topics: Hong Kong, World Wide Web, Politics of Hong Kong Pages: 4 (1211 words) Published: November 22, 2011
Hong Kong Housing Problem is not only attributed to the High Population Density
Every Hong Kong citizen knows one of the grave troubles in Hong Kong is housing problem. The order of severity can be apparently reflected by many figures in recent research studies. ”Rents up 22 per cent in Hong Kong“ (2011) remarks that “the price of renting two-bedroom accommodation rose by 22% to US$2,830 a month between 2009 and 2010“ (¶2). Subcommittee on Building Safety and Related Issues (2010) also observes that “from 2005 to 2009, the [Buildings Department] received a total of 2,890 complaints concerning sub-division of flat units” (P.3). Housing becomes a luxury commodity. Many citizens of upper class own a few big hair houses for trading with profits. People may guess the only reason for this issue is the limited land supply but surging number of citizens in Hong Kong. However, three other main reasons – high land premium policy, land developers’ hoarding of residential land and excessive immigrants from mainland – are emerged after in-depth investigation of the housing problem in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Government’s high land premium policy is one of the main causes of the housing problem. This policy was rooted about three decades ago. Wong, Chau and Ma (1999) state “land supply in Hong Kong was restricted to 50 hectares (ha) per annum according to the Sino-British Joint Declaration in 1984” (P.323). This rule was to avoid the British-Hong Kong Government selling all the land and leaving nothing to Chinese-Hong Kong Government after 1997. Also, Hong Kong offers low tax rates, but consummate welfare. The services and welfare offered such as financial aids in Comprehensive Social Security Assistance, medical treatment and education occupies majority of the expenses of the Hong Kong Government. In order to cover these expenses, the Hong Kong Government decides to sell the land with premium. Shih (2004) notices that “the Government was able to receive considerable revenue...
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