Housing Affordability in Hong Kong – A Quick Comparison with Singapore


When the housing market restarted with a vengeance in Hong Kong after Donald Tsang stepped down , however much tight land supply policy could be justified given government revenue dependence, it should not have affected the public sector housing. People seeking public housing could not have afforded private housing and so they should not be a government revenue concern.


Yet, despite calls and evidence being brought to the attention of the government, public housing supply remains very low.


While 80% of Singaporeans live in public housing, only 44.7% of Hong Kongers do.


Looking at the numbers 

Average public housing price of the Housing Development Board of Singapore is S$507 per square foot., equivalent to HKD $2,930. In Hong Kong, those who could not get into public housing face an average apartment price per square foot of HK$ 16,883 per square foot (apartments under 400 square feet), or 5.76 times more expensive than Singapore.

  • Hong Kong GDP per capita – USD $46,323
  • Singapore GDP per capita – USD $59,797.

But GDP per capita is always unreliable for these purposes because of the huge income disparity and this average figure included the super-rich. Hong Kong ranks world no. 1 in income disparity and has the world’s largest Gini coefficient.


So, in Singapore, public housing cost as a multiple of median monthly household income = 507 / 7744 (both expressed in Singapore dollars) = 6.5%.In Hong Kong, for those who had to buy private housing instead of lining up for public housing, housing cost as a multiple to median monthly family income = HKD$16,883 / 26,500 = 63%.

  • Median monthly household income in Singapore is S$ 7744 = HKD $44,643.
  • Median monthly household income in Hong Kong is HK$ 26,500.


Therefore, Hong Kong private sector housing (for many who need to buy them) is 10 times less affordable than in Singapore.We have not yet dealt with the real impact by calculating the housing prices as a multiple of monthly or annual disposable income for housing payment. Which will magnify the difference and show the plight of the Hong Kong people. So, journalists who sing the mantra that Hong Kong’s riots were caused by the stripping of political freedom and has nothing to do with poverty and unaffordable housing, go back and do your maths.


Source: Urban Reform Institute and Frontier Centre For Public Policy

Source : hkeconomy.gov.hk