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Budget & discussion with: Kevin Tsui & John Marrett; tenancy control of subdivided units


Budget & discussion with: Kevin Tsui & John Marrett; tenancy control of subdivided units

On Wednesday, Financial Secretary Paul Chan delivered his Budget for the coming year. In the midst of a pandemic and with the jobless rate at 7%, the highest in 17 years, many Hongkongers were hoping for decisive measures to help them through this difficult time. But it seems as though they were disappointed. In an instant survey conducted on the day by the Hong Kong Public Opinion Program, respondents gave the Budget just 36.4 marks out of 100. To talk about the Budget are Kevin Tsui, an economist from the University of Hong Kong, and John Marrett, a senior analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Despite the pandemic and profound socio-political tensions in Hong Kong, one thing hasn’t changed – Hong Kong’s property prices. The latest CBRE Global Living 2020 report names Hong Kong as the most expensive property market, with the average price of a residential property at US1.25 million. In terms of housing supply, this year’s Budget has little to offer. The average waiting time for public housing has risen to 5.7 years, a record high. It’s estimated that just 101,400 units will be completed in the coming five years. Meanwhile for years there have been calls for the government to re-introduce rent controls, particularly for low-income tenants. But officials have resolutely turned a deaf ear.

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