Behind the world most unaffordable housing prices lies a housing policy unhinged from present needs.
The new generation’s pursuit of an autonomous way of living and the values of equality have always been reduced to a desperate need for housing. Capitalizing on this oversimplified conclusion, the authority works hand in hand with private developers by relaxing property mortgage leverages, pushing demands for private properties, creating an alleged shortage in housing units, and providing a tailor-made land development application pathway for developers. Coupled with these illusory solutions to housing shorting are the many obvious loopholes in housing taxation which encourage speculation. In view of these symptoms, it should not be an ungrounded accusation to suggest tunnelling between public finances and property developers.
Stamp duty and revenue from land sales constitute a significant part of the government’s income. Worse still, the resultant high housing prices have become a means to accumulate vested interest and repay political benefits. It seems that the de-facto “deep-seated problems” lie in such deep-rooted system and layers of vested interest. This accounts for why that “the government has a role to play in helping citizens of Hong Kong” has long been seen as hollow political rhetoric.
By continuously sorting out and analysing data in property markets, social statistics, official documents, academic articles, media reports, industrial reports, and ownership structures, we hope to cultivate research reports based on rich primary data. We will continue exposing the devil in the details in the newly announced housing policies, and continue giving feasible suggestions with an advocacy of an equal and reasonable housing policy.
In the coming year, we hope to continue digging into Hong Kong’s housing crisis through the following research: