- REUTERS/Bobby Yip
- Two units in a Hong Kong luxury housing development are the most expensive in Asia, selling for a combined $149 million.
- Rising prices and mega-million dollar apartments mean middle-class families have to compete for subsidized housing in one of the world’s most expensive cities.
- Less than a tenth of Hong Kong’s land area is zoned for housing.
Properties in Hong Kong are among the priciest in the world, and a pair of fancy apartments in the city have now been crowned the most expensive in Asia.
Two units in a luxury housing development at The Peak sold this month for a combined HK$1.1.6 billion ($149 million) to a single buyer, South China Morning Post reported.
An unidentified buyer paid $76.8 million for a 4,579 square-foot apartment and about $71.7 million for a 4,242 square foot apartment, according to Wheelock Properties which oversees sales at the property.
The second property, at HK$132,000 per square feet, is Asia’s most expensive residence in terms of cost per square-foot.
Hong Kong is a city of stark contrasts. According to UBS, it is the world’s most-expensive city for apartments but, at the same time, the average living space is just 150 square-feet per person.
The average skilled worker would need to earn a salary for 20 years in order to afford a 650 square-foot apartment in the city center.
Wealth inequality: The middle-class struggle
On the same day that news about Asia’s most-expensive apartment came out, Hong Kong authorities said they received applications from 88,000 families vying for 620 available subsidized homes, a record high since sales of subsidized housing resumed in 2013.
The apartments, which are sold for 30% below market value, were developed by not-for-profit public housing provider Housing Society.
Subsidized housing programs were paused in 2002 to boost property prices, which have continuously spiked in recent months. According to the South China Morning Post, Housing Society chairman Marco Wu Moon-hoi said the imbalance between property supply and demand in Hong Kong is “serious” and “very worrying.”
According to the Post, Wu said that The Housing Society, Hong Kong’s second-largest non-profit public housing provider, has “the resources and capacity” to create more subsidized units, but is not able to do so without more land allocations.