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RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Number of McDonald sleepers balloon sixfold to 337 in past five years

Sky-high rents are amongst the reasons pushing them to stay at the fast food joint.

The number of Hong Kong residents found sleeping at McDonald’s outlets has ballooned six times over the past five years to 334 residents who admitted to have slept at an outlet in the past three months, according to a survey organised by Junior Chamber International cited by South China Morning Post.

Only 57 such sleepers, dubbed McRefugees or McSleepers, were registered in a similar study done in 2013.

A branch in Tsuen Wan was home to more than 30 sleepers which posts the highest figure amongst all branches.

Most of the McSleepers cited savings on air conditioning costs as well as comfort and security as the top reasons for opting to spend their nights at the fast food branch. The SAR's sky high property rents and prices also stood out as a prominent reason prompting residents to McDonalds. 

Hong Kong has been hailed as the world's least affordable housing market for the eighth year in a row as home ownership in space-starved city has plunged below 50% in 2017. 

Also read: Half of residents uninterested in buying property

An average Hong Konger earning $50,000 in annual income would need around $900,000 to purchase a home, according to annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, which puts the median house prices divided by annual median household income at 18.1.

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