Rents for subdivided flats in HK hit a new high, concern group study shows

25-Jun-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Rents for Hong Kong’s notoriously cramped subdivided flats have reached a new high, according to a study by a concern group.

An index used by the Subdivided Flats Concerning Platform found that rents for such flats, also called “caged homes” for how residents are squeezed into partitioned cubicles in a flat, had jumped 7.7 per cent from 411.3 last year to 443 this year.

The platform conducted research on 66 households staying in subdivided flats in Kwun Tong, Kowloon City, Kwai Tsing, Tsuen Wan and Sham Shui Po.

The index is derived from comparing the rent of subdivided cubicles with that of the entire flat as stated by the Rating and Valuation Department.

The increment was also higher than the overall 5.8 per cent increase in the private domestic rental indices released by the department in October.

On the other hand, official statistics showed the average wage in the city last December only rose 4.1 per cent year-on-year.

The study also found that on average, rent took up 41 per cent of income for a household in a subdivided flat, which is 4.8 percentage points higher than the year before.

“This 41 per cent is spent just on rent. If we include water and electricity bills, which are typically between HK$500 and HK$1,000 [a month], the expenses could be more than half of wages,” said Wong Ka-chun, a community organiser for the platform.

“Some households even said it is close to 80 per cent.”

Wong urged the government to set up rent control measures as soon as possible to limit the increase and burden on the poor.

Hongkongers who have applied for public flats face a long waiting time, with the figure standing at 51/2 years as of the end of March.

A 2016 population by-census found that 91,800 households comprising 209,700 people lived in subdivided flats in space-starved Hong Kong, the world’s most expensive housing market.


Category: Hong Kong

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