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Thursday, Aug 05, 2021

Social bombshell: Never mind Coronavirus and protests, housing prices in Hong Kong keep going up

The way to calm the protest is through calming down the housing prices: simply confiscate the properties purchased with illegally-smuggled mainlander's money, and declare free minimum housing for all. Hong Kong has plenty of housing space to satisfy all the local’s needs, but far away from enough to satisfy the foreigners greed. China can easily contain Hong Kong, but Hong Kong I cannot contain 1.4 billion home buyers without crushing.
Protests and a pandemic have barely made a dent. As we Wrote here, very clear, just before the protests in Hong Kong began to escalate to such an extreme violence.

The REAL reason for the protest is NOT Democracy, but affordable housing. This is exactly why in Singapore not only the economy thriving but the gap between rich and poor is not provoking any protest. Singapore is also not really a democracy but there the rich can buy luxury houses but the poor can get a home for free.

Hong Kong was never a democracy anyway, but always, As a British colony as well as part of China, has much more freedoms comparing to USA, UK, France and any other so called democratic country.

In Hong Kong people always did whatever they wanted. Hong Kong Citizens always paid much less taxes, if at all, and got from their government much higher quality services, regardless their voting rights.

In the other so called democracies? Well, citizens are NEVER free to do whatever they want, especially if they are Black, Latinos, Asians, or just not rich enough to be above the law, successfully running offshore far away from the tax system.

Ordinary citizen n other countries are paying too much taxes and getting back from their government too little, if anything at all, despite their voting rights. The rich pay there no taxes at all and controlling the political system without the need to vote at all.

So, the sounds-good reason for the protests is Democracy. But the real reason is, affordably housing.

The real reason for the Hong Kong protests is desperate young people, that working too much, and have zero chance to buy a home with a normal life time salary.

They cannot afford even what Hong Kong describe as a home, and what normal people around the world would describe only as a mini prison cell.

A small, crowded, ugly, smelly and noisy room, that cost millions of dollars, where in every other country, prisoners and dogs, are getting it for free.

So what needs to be fixed in Hong Kong is not democracy, but affordable housing.

Political stability can be easily restored after breaking the monopolized real estates market by few real estate tycoons, they are the real Hong Kong MAFIA, and stop cannibalizing the market by allowing Mainland Chinese to smuggle endless money and launder it in the Hong Kong Real Estate market with common tricks, that every regulator and anti money laundering officer know, and let it go.

Simply nationalize all the assets of the the property cartels, the estates MAFIA, and confiscate all the properties of the mainland Chinese that smuggled their money illegally, to buy properties in Hong Kong, and announce minimum FREE housing policy, to every young and old citizen.

It may sound radical. But believe me: welcoming revolution and terror from desperate young mob, as you did and continue to do by allowing the illegal rise of the real estate prices, is much more radical.

Do it first.
USA, Australia, UK and France will learn from your British-Chinese wisdom, and follow!

Property in Hong Kong remains horribly expensive, despite two years of protests and pandemic. House prices in April were only 1.5% below their peak in 2019. In one tower block being built in Kai Tak, a flat of 889 square feet sold last month for over HK$30m ($3.9m).

The property market has resisted the pandemic better than it did the sars outbreak of 2003, when prices fell by almost 8%. Indeed, the market has remained tight this time partly because of decisions made back then. When sars struck, house prices had already fallen by more than 60% since 1997. To curtail supply the government resolved to “withdraw from its role of property developer”, vowed not to “sell land at a pathetic price”, and reported with satisfaction that the supply of new flats was dwindling. Hong Kong built nine new towns (now home to almost half of its population of 7.5m) between the 1970s and the early 2000s. It has not finished any since.

Instead the government has corralled housebuilding into smaller, piecemeal sites, often located in and around existing developments. It is too embarrassed to call them “new towns”, said one speaker at a recent conference hosted by Hong Kong University Business School. It calls them “new development areas” instead.

With the help of such sites, the government hopes Hong Kong will add 430,000 flats over the next ten years. That, it reckons, would satisfy rising demand. But these targets tend to be over-optimistic: since 2007, housebuilding has undershot them by about 18% in an average year. If the pattern persists, Hong Kong will add only about 350,000 homes in the next decade.

In this “baseline” scenario, housing is likely to grow dearer still, according to Morgan Stanley. So what would it take to curb property prices? The bank has also put together what it calls a “bear” scenario where prices fall by a fifth or more. For that to happen, Hong Kong would have to add about 730,000 homes over the next ten years, the bank calculates, increasing the existing stock by almost 30%.

That would require encroaching on fields, sea and sky. Hong Kong would have to build taller, packing more floor space into each site. It would have to speed up the conversion of farmland, which can take 15 or more years. And it would have to add 235,000 homes on land reclaimed from the sea. This would include the government’s controversial plan to add land to eastern Lantau, Hong Kong’s biggest island, home to 172,000 people as well as white-bellied eagles, Bogadek’s burrowing lizards and finless porpoises, which conservationists argue could be threatened by the initiative.

Although it would take years for these efforts to reach fruition, a credible plan could change sentiment - and prices -immediately, points out Praveen Choudhary of Morgan Stanley. In the bear scenario house prices fall by 20% by the end of 2022. The downward turn would, in other words, resemble one of the abrupt landings in Kai Tak that used to make arriving in Hong Kong so thrilling.

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