NANO APARTMENTS AND CAGE DWELLERS IN HK

Remko Tanis • 21 December 2018

For months now I’ve been seeing warnings that the Hong Kong real estate market is up for a steep price drop. Swiss bank UBS labeled the city ‘the world’s most overvalued housing market’.

Wan Chai neighborhood in Hong Kong. Photo: (C) Remko Tanis

Wan Chai neighborhood in Hong Kong. Photo: (C) Remko Tanis

Credit agencies predict a fall of up to 25 percent, shopping from a variety of reasons like the China-US trade war and increasing anxiety over the influence of China in Hong Kong.

Be that as it may, housing prices in Hong Kong remain astronomical. Which is why nano apartments seemed like a good idea. These tiny flats are about the size of a Hong Kong parking space (12 square meters) and sell for anything between HK$ 3 and 8 million (EUR 334K - 890K). At these prices, nano apartments are thought to be affordable for an average first time home buyer in Hong Kong. And for a while, they were very popular.

Sheung Wan neighborhood in Hong Kong. Photo: (C) Remko Tanis

Sheung Wan neighborhood in Hong Kong. Photo: (C) Remko Tanis

But, in another sign of the property market cooling, at a recent offering of 73 nano apartments in Tuen Mun, only 2 were sold. Bad news for the 2100 nano apartments still under construction in the city.

These extreme housing situations, where people pay tons to live in a shoebox, reminded me of my visit to a group that is living in even less space than that. These people pay rent to live in caged bunk beds.

It’s literally people living in cages. In the world’s richest city.

My full story is here. Living in a nano flat all of a sudden seems like not such a bad deal.