Living in Wanchai


You need to pay 1/3- 1/2 of your income to rent a tiny unit of 100-160 sq. ft in Wanchai. if you works for a restaurant (as follows) in the district, earning 7000-9000 HKD a month.



News clip/Achieving Suite Success

the following is available from Jones Lang LasSalle's

Jones Lang LaSalle releases white paper on serviced apartments.

The growing significance of the serviced apartment market over the past few years has made it a unique segment in Hong Kong’s real estate industry. As the sustained leasing demand helped safeguard the rents of serviced apartments from falling drastically after the financial crisis, the growing investment demand has lured institutional investors to the business, which also saw the emergence of chained operations in the market. In its white paper titled ‘Serviced Apartments – Achieving Suite Success’, Jones Lang LaSalle discussed some of the key factors in forging a successful project in the serviced apartment industry.


about “My Home Purchase Plan”

In the most recent policy address(2010-2011) given by the head of HKSAR, there is a highlight about policy to promote affordable housing and to subsidy sandwich class to purchase homes regarding housing. The program underlies SAR's belief stated in the head's policy address, "The Government recognises the importance of a stable home, and is fully aware of our people's wishes to improve their quality of life and move up the social ladder through home ownership.”  It has aroused major discussion about the competency of the program. 

It sounds brief and clear, "rent-and-buy." However,we need to pay attention to the fact that it is not a program that subsidizes rent unless you have a home purchase plan during the five-year period participating in the program. In another word, you have to be definite to change your identity as a tenant in the city to become qualified for this subsidy.

Meanwhile, I wonder if it can be considered more as a subsidy to investors rather than renters regarding the fact that tenants who plan to purchase housing stock in private market would also be qualified. The program seems to be more like a linkage that aims to facilitate capital moving between governmental subsidy and private market. The only benefit a renter who would not buy a house after five year is probably the zero-gain rent during the period. Moreover, it is quite clear that the program is not designed for the most deprived renters in the city.
* the policy is published here http://gia.info.gov.hk/general/201010/13/P201010130272_0272_70332.pdf


順寧道,走下去 (Shunning Road, Keep Walking)

It was a touching moment when those active community members sharing their thought after all of us seeing the film together on the street (a program in the 2010 Social Movement Film Festival in Hong Kong). One of the most impressive comments was from Mr. Ho, who noted that people got to understand the issues facing them are social rather than individual only after voicing out and acting out. "You gradually found out so many unjust things hiding in public policies and institutions. Nowadays I basically don't trust Hong Kong SAR. But we need to voice out to let more and more people understand the situation we are bearing with anyway." Ho suggested.


Summary of my research project #1

Tenant's Right to the City: Contested Urban Citizenship in Redeveloping Hong Kong

This research, based in Hong Kong, investigates the massive urban redevelopment led by the Urban Renewal Authority and the increasing debates ever since its establishment in 2001. It concerns how urban renewal shapes “urban citizenship” in relation to production of space. It calls attention to the systematic production of dislocation as a result of urban renewal and emerging serviced apartment as new dwelling in gentrified, redeveloped area. By juxtaposing two kind of tenants, those being displaced and those being embraced in the redevelopment vision, and the way they are accommodated in the city, it aims to understand the dynamics between changing dwelling and geographies of care and needs. There are low-income tenants who often provide care work being displaced. Meanwhile, there are increasing international elites living in serviced apartments enjoying privatized care yet often being ignorant to local urban politics that makes the luxurious dwelling possible. By examining changing tenancy exhibited in urban renewal cases in Sham Shui Po and Wanchai, the research is aiming to illustrate the dynamics between tenancy, urban redevelopment, and practice of urban citizenship. All of this then leads to reworking on the issue about tenant’s right to the city.

How much is your service cost?

On Nov. 10,"Hong Kong is set for the first time to have a legal wage floor of HK$28 an hour," which can buy a latte from the cafe or 2 Taiwanese bubble milk tea. I am surprised by the fact that it is the first time a minimum wage is set, even more so by the worries about possible job loss as a result of the new move.

May it be the reason why food and tourism-related service industry in Hong Kong can be kept relatively affordable to middle class?

*Another news that may be relevant to my research is a piece about Chinese parents (from Mainland) coming to Hong Kong to give birth to their babies. While most of them started from purchasing packages from agencies, there are increasing amount of them turning to serviced apartments and trying to go through on their own. What kind of serviced-apartment will they be staying? I may need to pay attention to how their preference overlap or conflict with other foreign expats'.

BTW, the current MAW for FDHs is $3,580 per month, which has been effective since 10 July 2008. http://www.immd.gov.hk/ehtml/faq_fdh.htm#4