Hong Kong emerged as the world’s most unaffordable housing market for the 13th straight year in the newest Demographia International Housing Affordability report, which compared housing affordability ratios in 94 major cities across eight countries in 2022: Australia, Canada, China, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, and the US.

The report’s affordability ratios are calculated by dividing a city’s median house price by the median annual household income. Hong Kong’s house price-to-income ratio is 18.8.

housing markets ranked by affordability 2023
Hong Kong is the least affordable market (© Demographia)

However, the city’s affordability ratio fell from 23.2 (2021) to 18.8 (2022) because of factors such as Covid-19, the resulting economic slump, and rising interest rates. This led to Hong Kong having the highest decline in its affordability ratio among all the cities surveyed.

Other unaffordable cities include Sydney (13.3), Vancouver (12), Honolulu (11.8), San Jose (11.5), and Los Angeles (11.3). Singapore was the only other Asian city on the list. While the Lion City’s ratio fell from 5.8 to 5.3, it still comes under the “severely unaffordable” category as its ratio is higher than 5.1.

According to another report from Statista, the average price of permanent housing in Hong Kong Island surpassed 186 thousand Hong Kong dollars per square meter in 2021, making it one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world.

Average price of private permanent housing flats in Hong Kong from 2006 to 2021, by district
Average price of private permanent housing flats in Hong Kong from 2006 to 2021, by district (© Statista)

This represents a significant increase from the cost per square meter in 2011, which stood at 99452 HKD. The figures presented apply specifically to flats with less than 70 square meters.

These statistics highlight the challenges faced by those seeking affordable housing in Hong Kong, a city where property prices have continued to rise steeply over the past decade, and where families’ monthly income dropped to 27100 HKD in 2022.

See also
Hong Kong Foreign Domestic Helpers Get HK$140 Increase In Monthly Minimum Pay

Header image credits: Leung Cho Pan via Canva

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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