Breaking ‘News’: Hong Kong most expensive place to buy a home in new ranking

A Hong Kong real estate agency plastered with advertisements. Photo via Flickr/Luca Bolatti Guzzo.
A Hong Kong real estate agency plastered with advertisements. Photo via Flickr/Luca Bolatti Guzzo.

Never content to be merely an expensive city, Hong Kong has yet again proven itself to be the expensive city, clocking in as the priciest place in the world to buy a home in a new ranking from global real estate services company CBRE.

CBRE’s “Global Living” report found that the average price of a home in Hong Kong is about US$1.24 million (around HK$9.69 million), making it not only the most expensive market of the 35 cities surveyed, but a whopping 41 percent more expensive than its closest competitor, Singapore. (Take that, Singapore!)

That figure, by the way, takes into account crappy houses as well, so posher readers will be glad to know that the SAR also tops the list for “prime” property prices, with the average bougie-ass property coming in at around US$6.87 million (about HK$53.91 million).

The one metric in which Hong Kong appears to be slipping, however, is rent. Though it may not feel like it when you’re selling a kidney to pay for your 110-square-foot shoebox, at US$2,777 (about HK$21,800), the average rent in Hong Kong is only the third-highest in the world — just behind New York and Abu Dhabi.

But with any luck that won’t be the case for long, thank God, because rents climbed 8 percent last year, making Hong Kong’s rent growth rate the third-highest in the world. New York and Abu Dhabi’s rent growth, meanwhile, didn’t even make the top 10. (You hear that, New York and Abu Dhabi? We’re coming for you!)

As CBRE notes, “the popularity of Hong Kong means that affordability in its housing market has long been stretched.” Yes. Stretched. That’s more polite than the word we were going to use.

“Overall, prices for residential property in Hong Kong are more than double the prices in 1997, and the city was recently named the least affordable housing market for the eighth year running,” the report adds.

Indeed, the CBRE report is only the latest international ranking to confirm what anyone in Hong Kong already knows: this city is expensive.

A ranking from the Economist Intelligence Unit last month crowned Hong Kong the most expensive city in the world in terms of general cost of living.

In January, meanwhile, the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey ranked Hong Kong the least-affordable housing market in the world, with average prices clocking in at seven times the “affordable” threshold.

Hong Kong was also deemed the most expensive market in the world for expat accommodation, more than 25 percent more expensive than runner up Tokyo, according to a report by ECA International, also last month.

And it’s also on track to remain the most expensive place on Earth to rent office space, according to an outlook by the international property advisor Knight Frank released last month.

God, we’re magnificent.

So anyway, tonight, when you’re kicking back with a cocktail (the average price of which is roughly HK$70 gajillion), take a moment to reflect on how lucky you are to live in the greatest drain on residents’ income city in the world.

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