Nearly 15% of Hong Kong homes sold were micro flats

Real estate-squeezed and ultra expensive metropolis sees rise in sales of units under 260 sf

National Weekend Edition /
Jan.January 09, 2021 09:00 AM
More than one in 10 homes sold in Hong Kong in 2019 was smaller than two parking spaces. (Getty, iStock)

More than one in 10 homes sold in Hong Kong in 2019 was smaller than two parking spaces. (Getty, iStock)

 

Housing has long been at a premium in Hong Kong — both in cost and quantity — but a new report shows just how dire the situation has gotten for residents hoping to own their own unit.

Nearly 15 percent of homes sold in the city were smaller than two parking spaces, according to Bloomberg, citing a new report.

The findings from Liber Research Community showed that a record 13 percent of units sold in 2019 were less than 260 square feet.

Well under 1 percent of units sold in 2010 were that size. The percentage share of sales for so-called nano- or micro-flats has been steadily rising ever since.

Hong Kong developers have built more smaller apartments in recent years as the housing market tightened to one of the most expensive and inaccessible in the world. Pricing started to fall in 2018.

The pandemic has put downward pressure on Hong Kong’s wider real estate market, but the city remains unaffordable for many. Home prices were down just 1 percent in 2020.

Some residents have been forced to live in so-called coffin apartments, which have little room for more than a bed. Others live in illegally subdivided and unsafe buildings.

Liber Research found that 85 percent of the 8,550 nano flats sold between 2010 and 2019 did not have a separate bedroom and 70 percent had no window in the bathroom.

[Bloomberg] — Dennis Lynch 


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