No one could have described being in Hong Kong’s current property market more bluntly than 22-year-old new TV star Seasun Tang who stirred social media chatter when she said, “If you have property, you have [sexual] climax.”
That property, by the way, refers to a 2,000 square foot home that costs at least HK$40 million, but close to HK$100 million in prime locations.
Call her material girl, but she is not alone in stating the obvious: a home is more reliable than a husband to a woman.
Home prices have been surging every year in the past seven years, and I am not sure how many people can describe anything similar in their relationships or marriages.
And it is tough for even a TV star to be able to afford a home in Hong Kong. Take the case of Scarlett Wong, a famous TV host with a reported income of HK$2 million a year from providing master of ceremony services at public events.
I was amused to read that Wong, a University of British Columbia graduate who returned to Hong Kong for work in 2006, said she used up all her savings and even borrowed some money from the family to buy a three-bedroom flat in Kowloon East for HK$12 million in February 2013.
For a property purchase over HK$10 million, the buyer needs to pay 50% of the down payment. In Wong’s case, she borrowed HK$6 million from the bank and a 20% second mortgage from developer totaling HK$2.4 million, according to Ming Pao, a local daily.
She was lucky to ride on the property boom that may have seen her property value almost double in the past four years.
Hong Kong topped the Global Property Price Capability Survey, according to Demographia, a US property consultant, which said home prices in Hong Kong are “extremely unaffordable.”
That was because Hong Kong property prices have grown to 18.1 times the median household income, with the disparity level the highest in the world.
As property prices show no sign of slowing down, Scarlett Wong bought another home for her younger sister Jacqueline Wong, 28, in Vancouver.
Jacqueline, the first runner-up of Miss Hong Kong 2012 and a more popular artist, and Scarlett paid HK$420,000 each for the 20% down payment for a HK$4.2 million apartment in Vancouver.
The Canadian property is under the sole ownership of Jacqueline because Scarlett was worried Jacqueline might not be able to buy a flat in Hong Kong.
“If she wants to buy a Hong Kong flat, she has to work harder,” Scarlett said.
Well said. Being a mere star is not nearly enough to buy a tiny home in Hong Kong. One needs to be a superstar.