RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Soaring home prices push millennials to illegally settle in industrial buildings

An estimated 12,000 residents lived in such buildings in 2016.

Bloomberg reports that a small group of young Hong Kongers unable to find a place in the city’s expensive housing market are finding home in industrial buildings despite the safety concerns and illegal nature of the set-up.

An estimated 12,000 people lived in industrial buildings in 2016, according to the Society for Community Organisation, who in addition to concerns of eviction, grapple with occasional power cuts and non-potable water supply.

Also read: Tight squeeze: Demand for nano flats doubles in first eight months of 2018

One 1,000 sq-ft apartment in Sha Tin is rented out for $11,000 (US$1,400) monthly or less than half than what a residential unit in the area goes for.

The government bans the use of industrial buildings for residential purposes and has proposed adding criminal sanctions last year for violators.

Also read: Waiting time for public housing hits 18-year high

An average Hong Konger earning $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.

Here’s more from Bloomberg:

Photo from Fralueatoathai - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

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