Photos: Housing a tight squeeze for Hong Kong’s young professionals

Updated On Jun 16, 2018 01:33 PM IST

Blocks of sleek miniature apartments are springing up around densely packed Hong Kong, pitched as an attractive and more affordable lifestyle choice, but still at an eye-watering cost. Hong Kong's real estate is the most expensive in the world and as prices soar fuelled by an influx of money from mainland Chinese investors, the city government stands accused of failing to control the red-hot property market. With the ability to buy a flat increasingly out of reach for the majority of Hong Kong's 7.4 million residents, developers are creating smaller spaces to reach a wider market.

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Michelle Chau sits on her bed in her rented living space in a co-sharing building in Hong Kong’s Mong Kok district. As housing prices spiral, young professionals in Hong Kong are living in ever-shrinking spaces, with box-like “nano-flats” and co-shares touted as fashionable solutions. (Isaac Lawrence / AFP) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 16, 2018 01:33 PM IST

Michelle Chau sits on her bed in her rented living space in a co-sharing building in Hong Kong’s Mong Kok district. As housing prices spiral, young professionals in Hong Kong are living in ever-shrinking spaces, with box-like “nano-flats” and co-shares touted as fashionable solutions. (Isaac Lawrence / AFP)

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Blocks of sleek miniature apartments packed with mod cons are springing up around the densely packed city, pitched as an attractive and more affordable lifestyle choice, but still at an eye-watering cost. Hong Kong’s real estate is the most expensive in the world, with median house prices at 19.4 times median incomes -- the worst ratio globally. (Isaac Lawrence / AFP) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 16, 2018 01:33 PM IST

Blocks of sleek miniature apartments packed with mod cons are springing up around the densely packed city, pitched as an attractive and more affordable lifestyle choice, but still at an eye-watering cost. Hong Kong’s real estate is the most expensive in the world, with median house prices at 19.4 times median incomes -- the worst ratio globally. (Isaac Lawrence / AFP)

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Finance worker Adrian Law, 25, eats a meal in his studio apartment, for which he paid more than 765,000 USD two years ago in the gentrified Sai Ying Pun neighbourhood. The slim glass building squeezes four apartments onto each floor and includes “nano-flats”, a new term for homes of under 215 square feet (20 square metres). (Isaac Lawrence / AFP) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 16, 2018 01:33 PM IST

Finance worker Adrian Law, 25, eats a meal in his studio apartment, for which he paid more than 765,000 USD two years ago in the gentrified Sai Ying Pun neighbourhood. The slim glass building squeezes four apartments onto each floor and includes “nano-flats”, a new term for homes of under 215 square feet (20 square metres). (Isaac Lawrence / AFP)

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Law’s studio is a fraction bigger at 292 square feet, with a price per square foot of nearly HK$20,000. He has adapted to the limited space by buying transformable furniture -- his bed folds away against the wall to reveal a desk tucked underneath -- and he keeps most of his belongings at his parents’ home. (Isaac Lawrence / AFP) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 16, 2018 01:33 PM IST

Law’s studio is a fraction bigger at 292 square feet, with a price per square foot of nearly HK$20,000. He has adapted to the limited space by buying transformable furniture -- his bed folds away against the wall to reveal a desk tucked underneath -- and he keeps most of his belongings at his parents’ home. (Isaac Lawrence / AFP)

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“Property developers are marketing the concept to buyers that they only need a place to sleep and can do anything else outside,” Law told AFP. His parents helped him put down a 30 percent deposit when he bought the apartment and around 40% of his salary goes as mortgage every month. “One can only get into a winning position by owning a place,” Law said. (Isaac Lawrence / AFP) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 16, 2018 01:33 PM IST

“Property developers are marketing the concept to buyers that they only need a place to sleep and can do anything else outside,” Law told AFP. His parents helped him put down a 30 percent deposit when he bought the apartment and around 40% of his salary goes as mortgage every month. “One can only get into a winning position by owning a place,” Law said. (Isaac Lawrence / AFP)

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Property prices have been fuelled by wealthy mainland Chinese investors and developers. Rental prices have also rocketed and the wait for government-subsidised housing can be five years. Many poorer Hong Kong residents like Jezz Ng, 29, resort to renting dingy “subdivided” flats rather than shelling out for a space. At weekends she goes home to her parents. (Isaac Lawrence / AFP) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 16, 2018 01:33 PM IST

Property prices have been fuelled by wealthy mainland Chinese investors and developers. Rental prices have also rocketed and the wait for government-subsidised housing can be five years. Many poorer Hong Kong residents like Jezz Ng, 29, resort to renting dingy “subdivided” flats rather than shelling out for a space. At weekends she goes home to her parents. (Isaac Lawrence / AFP)

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Ng shares a unit with seven other women. Her room can fit a single bed and a desk. She pays $5,600 per month, which allows her to support her parents financially and pay her sister’s tuition fees for a master’s degree -- a common practice for young adults who are working. Ng adds she feels less cramped than when she lived at home. (Isaac Lawrence / AFP) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 16, 2018 01:33 PM IST

Ng shares a unit with seven other women. Her room can fit a single bed and a desk. She pays $5,600 per month, which allows her to support her parents financially and pay her sister’s tuition fees for a master’s degree -- a common practice for young adults who are working. Ng adds she feels less cramped than when she lived at home. (Isaac Lawrence / AFP)

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Michelle Chau walks past her living quarters. Under Hong Kong law there is no limit to how small a flat can be. And with the ability to buy a flat increasingly out of reach for the majority of Hong Kong’s 7.4 million residents, developers are creating smaller spaces to reach a wider market. (AFP) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 16, 2018 01:33 PM IST

Michelle Chau walks past her living quarters. Under Hong Kong law there is no limit to how small a flat can be. And with the ability to buy a flat increasingly out of reach for the majority of Hong Kong’s 7.4 million residents, developers are creating smaller spaces to reach a wider market. (AFP)

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The government is considering artificial islands and developing the city’s country parks as a way out. But local research groups argue Hong Kong should develop brownfield sites and idle government land first. Designers are also putting forward concepts, including converting concrete pipes and transforming shipping containers into homes. (Isaac Lawrence / AFP) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 16, 2018 01:33 PM IST

The government is considering artificial islands and developing the city’s country parks as a way out. But local research groups argue Hong Kong should develop brownfield sites and idle government land first. Designers are also putting forward concepts, including converting concrete pipes and transforming shipping containers into homes. (Isaac Lawrence / AFP)

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