Below is the latest digest from our political commentator ‘Tony Wong’. Hong Wrong publishes a selection of his musings each week, but you can sign up for his full, daily newsletter by emailing ‘subscribe‘ to [email protected] It is “aimed at informed residents who are encouraged to further develop and rebut the arguments made here, and in the media, to create actual, honest and productive political dissent.”
Friday, 25/10: Property – Jake Van Der Kamp writes in the SCMP about how low interest rates in the United States have inflated Hong Kong’s real estate prices. He claims that low interest rates in the USA equal rising housing prices here, but looking up the data (see google’s public data explorer below) shows us that this is simply not true. In the last 10 years property prices have been rising steeply, and yet in the same period we have seen both times of high and of low interest rates. Between ‘93 and ‘98, when property prices doubled interest rates were even between 4 and 6%… Van Der Kamp makes it look as if we, given the dollar peg, have no choice but to simply accept the exploding living costs that, as he points out, very much screw over the poor… Truth is however, we do have a choice, or at least our government does. The rising prices are a story of demand and supply. In the years after the ‘97 Asian Financial Crisis which coupled with the SARS epidemic, 9/11 and the bust of the dotcom bubble demand drastically fell. But as supply remained stagnant prices were nothing but bound to explode once demand recovered… As we do not want to wait for the world economy to completely collapse to have decent living conditions again we must create more housing now. Sell some of these empty parking lots maybe?