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Why is the Hong Kong housing market unaffordable? Some stylized facts and estimations

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  • Charles Ka Yui Leung
  • Joe Cho Yiu Ng
  • Edward Chi Ho Tang

Abstract

The house price in Hong Kong is well-known to be "unaffordable." This paper argues that the commonly used house price-to-income ratio may be misleading in an economy with almost half of the population living in either public rental housing or subsidized ownership. Moreover, we re-focus on the relationships between economic fundamentals and the housing market of Hong Kong. While the aggregate GDP, population, longevity continues to grow, the real wage and household income fall behind. The trend component of the real GDP growth suffers a permanent downward shift after the first quarter of 1989 (a “political scar”). The trend component of real wage growth is close to zero, and the counterpart of real consumption and real investment decline steadily. Meanwhile, the trend component of the real housing rent and price display patterns that decouple from the macroeconomic variables. We also discuss the directions for future research.

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  • Charles Ka Yui Leung & Joe Cho Yiu Ng & Edward Chi Ho Tang, 2020. "Why is the Hong Kong housing market unaffordable? Some stylized facts and estimations," ISER Discussion Paper 1081, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  • Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:1081
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    Cited by:

    1. Charles Ka Yui Leung & Edward Chi Ho Tang, 2021. "The Dynamics of the House Price-to-Income Ratio: Theory and Evidence," ISER Discussion Paper 1125, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    2. Wong, Gary Wai Chung & Wong, Paulina Pui Yun & Chong, James Chit Ming, 2022. "Low-fidelity buyer seller simulations can encourage authentic learning experiences," International Review of Economics Education, Elsevier, vol. 40(C).
    3. Charles Ka Yui Leung & (single author only), 2021. "Handbook of Real Estate and Macroeconomics: An Introduction," ISER Discussion Paper 1137, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.

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    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General

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