For the first time in nearly two decades, homeowners are minority in Hong Kong, which confirms the status of the city as the world’s most difficult property market. Only 49.2% of Hong Kong households have own the properties at by the end of 2017, the lowest level since 1999, according to figures published by the Hong Kong Census Bureau this week. Their number peaked at 54.3% in 2004.
The property prices in Hong Kong have grown threefold since 1999 due to quick property sales and limited supply of apartments. The city has been declared the world’s most inaccessible real estate market for the eighth year, a city planning company, overtaking nearly 300 metropolitan housing markets in nine countries.
By comparison, household ownership in New York is on average 49.9% in 2017, according to data from the US Census Bureau. In Singapore, where the public can get government housing, the rate exceeds 90%.
Several rounds of market cooling measures have not worked, making it impossible for the government to restrict prices. Recent authorities’ interventions for maintaining the exchange rate of the city slowed sales pace and increased the likelihood that banks would finally raise mortgage rates.