RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

74,700 new public rental housing units to be launched in the next five years

Even with the steady supply, waiting time for housing applicants has increased.

An estimated 74,700 new public rental housing units will be rolled out in the next five years from 2017-2018 to 2021-2022, a spokesperson from the Transport and Housing Bureau said in response to media inquiries. 

Even with the steady increase in the roll-out of PRH supply, the average waiting time for applicants has also increased amidst sustained demand for affordable housing alternatives in space-starved Hong Kong.

“Despite the continued increase in new PRH units, the pace of increase is not fast enough to absorb the cumulative PRH demand over the years, hence prolonging the waiting time of PRH applicants,” the spokesperson added.

Also read: Government estimates 96,000 units in private flat supply

As of end March, there were about 153,800 general applications for PRH. The average waiting time for general applicants clocked in at 5.1 years although the waiting time for elderly one-person applications is 2.8 years.

Also read: Land shortage exceeds government estimate of 1,200 hectares

Home ownership in Hong Kong has plunged below 50% as residential prices have surged beyond affordability for the normal Hong Konger after rising another 1.6% in March.

Also read: Micro flats multiply as residents scramble for affordable housing alternatives

An average resident who earns $50,000 in annual income would need around $900,000 to purchase a home as the city ranks as the most expensive housing market for the eighth year in a row, according to annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, which puts the median house prices divided by annual median household income at 18.1.

Photo from WiNG - Own work, CC BY 3.0

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