Cramped Living Conditions In Hong Kong

andres del risco

The property market in Hong Kong is one of stark contrasts, with high end luxury units offering a safe haven for wealthy buyers, whilst poorer residents live in increasingly cramped conditions.

House prices in Hong Kong soared by more than 23% in 2012, which meant it had the biggest gains of any property market in the world, including that of Brazil.

The other side of the coin is that many people who live there have extremely cramped conditions, with families often forced to share double beds in micro apartments.

A report earlier this year by the Society for Community Organisation (SoCO) revealed the size of homes in the districts of Sham Shui Po, Yau Tsim Mong and Kowloon City, where older and decaying tower blocks are crammed to bursting point.

In fact, over 7 million Hong Kong residents live in an area of 424 square miles, and the high rise blocks are the only solution to house the population.

As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, high-density accommodation is to be expected, but the utilitarian designs of the purely functional buildings in Hong Kong mean that the urban landscape away from the new constructions in the centre is a confused and chaotic experience.

The concept of high density accommodation is not new but is currently undergoing something of a resurgence. It has recently been announced that New York will have more micro apartments built in the city in an effort to provide modern, affordable housing mainly aimed at lower paid workers.

These are more innovative and imaginative ideas than the mainly sixties-built blocks that are to be found in Hong Kong. The NY developments are aimed at providing a maximum of 400 square feet, with 55 units already announced last year for New York’s East side, of which 40% will be available to low and middle income locals.

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