Hong Kong tops global list of most expensive housing market again as protests make little dent

By Cheryl Arcibalcheryl.arcibal@scmp.com / https://www.scmp.com/business/article/3046868/hong-kong-tops-global-list-most-expensive-housing-market-again-protests?utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=contentexchange&utm_source=EdgeProp | January 21, 2020 4:49 PM SGT
Hong Kong has been ranked yet again as the world's least affordable housing market with social unrest failing to make any meaningful dent on home prices for most of 2019. That dubious honour is for the 10th straight year and is unlikely to be toppled in near future.
A family in the city would need to save up for 20.8 years to afford a home in the city, according to the annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Study, which ranks 92 major markets across the world based on median affordability scores. That has barely changed from 20.9 years in 2018.
Vancouver came in second at a distant 11.9 while Sydney took the third place at 11. Melbourne at 9.5 and Los Angeles at 9 made up the top five most expensive housing market in the study.
The score was generated by calculating the median house price over median household income, covering the third quarter of 2019, according to the Demographia statement.
"Over the past year, there has been moderation of house price increases in some of the least affordable major markets," Demographia said in a statement on Monday. "However, the trends were insufficient to materially improve housing affordability."
The latest study shows how Hong Kong's home prices have remained sticky on the upside, reflecting the acute disparity in housing demand and supply which helped fan anti-government protests last year and stoke criticism from mainland media outlets during the spate of social unrest.
"In the first half this year, prices are likely to go down further but I think overall, prices shouldn't drop that much," said Lau of Midland Realty. "In fact, if the social movement calms down a little bit, we expect prices to remain fairly steady, and there's a chance to increase slightly toward the end of this year."
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