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Hong Kong: Property market bubbles burst into public outrage

Earlier in October, an apartment in Hong Kong was sold for USD$57 million, a recording breaking price, locally and globally. The 6,158 square foot duplex apartment is in a building called “Conduit Road 39″ located at the western mid-levels of Hong Kong Island. The unidentified buyer is from Mainland China.

Recording breaking price in time of recession

At the same time, Hong Kong has become the number one in the income disparity list. As the property market keeps rising in time of recession due to the inflow of hot money, the dream of sweet home is getting further and further away from ordinary people, such as 貝卡 from uwants:

天匯破世界記錄 一尺7萬蚊成交
如不才(我)要買這房子就以這樣計算

不買衣,不吃貴,不旅遊,不買手機
上例也不重要,以下還有
不養妻,不生子
我就能拿7000蚊出來供樓
工作10個月後就能買一尺
十年後我能買下十尺有多…
100年後我就能買下天匯房子
的一個洗手間了
這時我打比麥玲玲問下我有幾多歲命
佢話算到我有1千3百幾歲
在計下去
到左我8百幾歲的時後就能買下天匯的一個單位了

“Conduit Road 39″was sold at a record breaking price of HKD70,000 per square feet, if people like me who want to buy in the apartment, here is the deal:

No more new clothes, good food, traveling and fancy mobile, and what's more
Cannot support a wife, nor kid, then I could have HKD7000 per month to pay the mortage.
In ten months, I could buy in a square foot.
In ten years, I could buy in a bit more than 10 square…
In 100 years, I could buy in the bathroom of the apartment in Conduit Road 39.
Then I called up fortune teller asking her how many years I could live on,
she answared that I had 1,300 years to come,
Then I could buy in an apartment when I were in my 800 years…


Stay away from the city center… and then from Hong Kong

When answering the question of a professional couple who could not afford to buy a decent house in downtown area, the Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang suggested them to build their home from smaller apartment unit away from the city, where there are still apartments marked at HKD4000 (USD520) per square foot.

Erynnyes from Those were the day discussed the implications of Tsang's answer:

若連律師、醫生也無法在中環買樓,要像煲呔說到偏遠地方買4000元一呎的樓,那其他人又怎樣?豈不連4000元一呎的樓也買不到?B說,假若有一天連律 師、醫生也要「進駐」新界之時,到時新界樓價,又豈止4000元一呎?那其他打工仔又怎樣?難道要搬到深圳住?煲呔是否不明打工仔的困苦?

If professional like lawyer and doctor could not afford to buy apartment in Central district and that they have to buy in HKD4000 per square foot apartment away from city center, how about the others? How could they afford the HKD4000 per square foot? B said, if one day lawyers and doctors have to move to New Territories, the property market in New Territories would definitely exceed the HKD4000 per square foot. How about ordinary workers? Does it imply that they have to move to Shenzhen (in Mainland China)? Does Donald Tsang understand the difficulties of ordinary workers?

In fact the Chief Secretary for Administration Henry Tang Ying-yen, has spelled out his vision for Hong Kong earlier this year that “by 2020, improved road and rail networks may mean Hong Kong people could be better off living in Guangdong than staying input.”

Hung One Bean was outraged by such logic:

有錢就自己人,冇錢就賤過人─唔該過主,或,你應該衡量下自己既能力,係咪適合係香港居住,當然,來打工是歡迎的,正是有見及此,即使付出昂貴的公帑,都要興建高速又完善的運輸系統。

When you have money, you belong to the family, if you don't please leave. Or you have to evaluate your own ability if you can fit into Hong Kong. Of course, you are welcomed to work here, that's why the government is spending so much money to build the high speed railway system.


Money game, number game

Recently a video clip of a TV drama in 1999 in which the protagonist was complaining about the economic situation when the property bubbles had devastated the middle class and the poor has been circulated widely among Internet users via youtube and facebook. Because of copyrights issue, the clip has been taken down several times but netizens keep on uploading and circulating the clip around. Below in a version that remixes the sound of the protagonist with photos of government officials, property developers and the poor:

Here is the transcription of the protagonist's speech:

I have tried, I tried my best to stick to my position, working days and nights and earned a living. I have tried. But people out there, people out there do they know anything about construction and building? They just invest with little bit of money and time, push up the property market and make a hugh amount of money. Is that fair? Please ask people around, ask any people randomly what do they need. Their answer is very simple. What they want is a very simple apartment. Why do they have to spend their whole life to pay the housing mortgage? Because the rich people is manipulating the world. The richer one is, they are more into this game. Is this world fair? Is this world fair?

Among the photos shown in the video clip is the “Conduit Road 39″ building. Apart from its price, the building also reflects how the property developer “played their game”. The 46-storey building turned into a scandal due to the “auspicious” floor numbering system. A total of 42 intermediate floor numbers are omitted in order to turn the top floor into “88th floor” (lucky number for Chinese) and the missing floors are 14, 24, 34, 64 and all floors between 40-59, and the floor number which follows 68 is 88. It seems that Hong Kong has become the Orwell's animal farm where monetary power can redefine our sense of number.

Donald Tsang Unwanted

People's anger cannot be contained. Netizens decided to organize a rally against the Chief Executive Donald Tsang on 1 of November. There are several groups in the facebook for the mobilization, including “Power of all citizens against Tsang“, “Light bulb Tsang, We have enough of you“. Below is one of the rally posters:
unwanted1

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