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postgraduate thesis: A study of housing needs and aspirations of young singletons in Hong Kong and their expectations on the government

TitleA study of housing needs and aspirations of young singletons in Hong Kong and their expectations on the government
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Lau, K. [劉建群]. (2014). A study of housing needs and aspirations of young singletons in Hong Kong and their expectations on the government. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5334665
AbstractHousing has ever been the major concern of Hong Kong people. The housing prices of Hong Kong have fluctuated up and down largely in the past two decades. Housing prices reached a new record high in December 2013. Although the housing prices slide down slightly in recent months, they remain at very high level. Private housing became more and more unaffordable to Hong Kong people including the middle class. Many Hong Kong people resort to public rental housing (PRH) to meet their housing needs. As at the end of 2013, there were about 122,200 for non-elderly one-person applicants under Quota and Points System (QPS) and that were even more than 121,100 for general waiting list applicants. This reflects the large housing needs of young singletons for one-person household flats and alarms the public and the government of the serious shortage of housing for young singletons. The housing needs and aspirations of young singletons have ever been marginalised by the government that can be indicated by the housing policy carried out in Hong Kong. Singletons aged 21 or over have only been allowed to apply for PRH since 1985. However, the priorities of allocating PRH are given to family households, elderly and the disadvantaged. The successful housed number of non-elderly one-person applicants in permanent public rental housing increased from only 125 in 1996/1997 to 3,700 in 2004/2005. The implementation of QPS since 2005 has greatly restricted the access of PRH by young singletons because the allocation of PRH is mainly on the basis of age and subject to the annual maximum allocation quota of 2,000 units. On the other hand, singletons have only been allowed to apply for purchase of subsidised sale flats and home purchase loans for purchase of self-occupied flat since 1998. All these are restricted by limited quota, size of flats to be purchased and half of the loans granted to general family applicants. Following the cease of various subsidised sale schemes and home purchase loans from end of 2002, the assistance to singletons to purchase their self-occupied flats also has stopped. From the perspective of housing policy in developed countries, government interventions in the housing market have been reduced for the past few decades especially after Asian Financial Crisis and Global Financial Tsunami. Governments of western countries and developed countries of Asia have shifted to adopt more market oriented housing policy and to encourage homeownership since 1990s. Governments emphasize provision of social rental housing to those in need. People living in social rental housing have then been stigmatized. Consequently, housing prices in these countries have been fluctuating up and down largely and supply of housing has not been matched by the needs of people. Accessibility to social rental housing by young singletons is dampened. Shortage of affordable housing affects young singletons seriously. Many young singletons tend to stay longer at parental home as what Yamada (1999) described as “parasite” single. Mckee (2012) finds that it is an international phenomenon of reducing self-occupied homeownership rates for young people as more young people staying with their parents, studying longer, having difficulty in getting employments, facing restriction on accessing state welfare benefit and in changing household formation. In acknowledging the housing needs and demands of young people, governments of Asian countries tend to adopt policy promoting self-occupied homeownership to assist young people in meeting their housing aspirations. Singapore government adopts housing policy encouraging homeownership by introducing different schemes to meet varied needs and aspirations of Singaporeans at different stages of life-cycle. In recognition of the housing aspirations and contribution of singletons, Singapore government has provided housing benefits of singletons aged 35 years or over to buy resale Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats in HDB estates and since 2013 they has been allowed to buy new flats of particular size in non-matures estates from HDB. In South Korea, the previous LEE Myung-bak administration introduced new housing policy to assist newly married couples by providing long-term self-occupied home financing with low interest rates and increasing supply of self-occupied homes for low-income newly married couples to solve the housing problems of young families. The Australian government has introduced various measures to deal with the housing affordability problem including a first self-occupied home owner savings account, a notional rental affordability scheme, national housing affordability fund and establishment of a land supply council. Many researches have found that housing pathways of young people in developed countries are similar in following a sequence that individuals move from the parental self-occupied homes through sharing accommodation, private rental housing and into self-occupied homes. Young singletons have different tenure preferences that may vary according to the educations levels, income levels, security of jobs, family backgrounds, gender, views on marriage and stages of life cycle. This paper attempts to understand the housing needs and aspirations of young singletons in Hong Kong, the reasons causing them to have different needs and aspirations and their expectations on the government in meeting their housing needs and aspiration. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were adopted to obtain the general information and views of young singleton respondents by questionnaires survey and to have better understanding of the relationship of young singleton’s backgrounds, reasons for moving out from parents, their preferences and affordability fro housing and expectations on government by in-depth interviews. The results indicate that nearly half (44%) of young singleton respondents had no plan to buy their self-occupied flats and chose renting and only 56% of young singleton respondents had plan to buy their self-occupied flats. To a certain extent, young singletons of Hong Kong change their housing needs and aspiration according to their stages of life-cycle. After leaving parental home, young singletons would choose sharing accommodation in private rental housing. They plan to buy their self-occupied flat when they get older or married. Factors such as age, education levels, income levels, gender, Chinese traditions, household size and present housing tenures of young singletons as well as government policy affect their housing needs and aspirations. Young singletons expect the government to provide them with more in-kind and in-cash housing subsidies in order to assist them meeting their housing needs and aspirations.
DegreeMaster of Housing Management
SubjectYoung adults - Housing - China - Hong Kong
Dept/ProgramHousing Management
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/207637

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLau, Kin-kwan-
dc.contributor.author劉建群-
dc.date.accessioned2015-01-12T23:18:53Z-
dc.date.available2015-01-12T23:18:53Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationLau, K. [劉建群]. (2014). A study of housing needs and aspirations of young singletons in Hong Kong and their expectations on the government. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5334665-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/207637-
dc.description.abstractHousing has ever been the major concern of Hong Kong people. The housing prices of Hong Kong have fluctuated up and down largely in the past two decades. Housing prices reached a new record high in December 2013. Although the housing prices slide down slightly in recent months, they remain at very high level. Private housing became more and more unaffordable to Hong Kong people including the middle class. Many Hong Kong people resort to public rental housing (PRH) to meet their housing needs. As at the end of 2013, there were about 122,200 for non-elderly one-person applicants under Quota and Points System (QPS) and that were even more than 121,100 for general waiting list applicants. This reflects the large housing needs of young singletons for one-person household flats and alarms the public and the government of the serious shortage of housing for young singletons. The housing needs and aspirations of young singletons have ever been marginalised by the government that can be indicated by the housing policy carried out in Hong Kong. Singletons aged 21 or over have only been allowed to apply for PRH since 1985. However, the priorities of allocating PRH are given to family households, elderly and the disadvantaged. The successful housed number of non-elderly one-person applicants in permanent public rental housing increased from only 125 in 1996/1997 to 3,700 in 2004/2005. The implementation of QPS since 2005 has greatly restricted the access of PRH by young singletons because the allocation of PRH is mainly on the basis of age and subject to the annual maximum allocation quota of 2,000 units. On the other hand, singletons have only been allowed to apply for purchase of subsidised sale flats and home purchase loans for purchase of self-occupied flat since 1998. All these are restricted by limited quota, size of flats to be purchased and half of the loans granted to general family applicants. Following the cease of various subsidised sale schemes and home purchase loans from end of 2002, the assistance to singletons to purchase their self-occupied flats also has stopped. From the perspective of housing policy in developed countries, government interventions in the housing market have been reduced for the past few decades especially after Asian Financial Crisis and Global Financial Tsunami. Governments of western countries and developed countries of Asia have shifted to adopt more market oriented housing policy and to encourage homeownership since 1990s. Governments emphasize provision of social rental housing to those in need. People living in social rental housing have then been stigmatized. Consequently, housing prices in these countries have been fluctuating up and down largely and supply of housing has not been matched by the needs of people. Accessibility to social rental housing by young singletons is dampened. Shortage of affordable housing affects young singletons seriously. Many young singletons tend to stay longer at parental home as what Yamada (1999) described as “parasite” single. Mckee (2012) finds that it is an international phenomenon of reducing self-occupied homeownership rates for young people as more young people staying with their parents, studying longer, having difficulty in getting employments, facing restriction on accessing state welfare benefit and in changing household formation. In acknowledging the housing needs and demands of young people, governments of Asian countries tend to adopt policy promoting self-occupied homeownership to assist young people in meeting their housing aspirations. Singapore government adopts housing policy encouraging homeownership by introducing different schemes to meet varied needs and aspirations of Singaporeans at different stages of life-cycle. In recognition of the housing aspirations and contribution of singletons, Singapore government has provided housing benefits of singletons aged 35 years or over to buy resale Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats in HDB estates and since 2013 they has been allowed to buy new flats of particular size in non-matures estates from HDB. In South Korea, the previous LEE Myung-bak administration introduced new housing policy to assist newly married couples by providing long-term self-occupied home financing with low interest rates and increasing supply of self-occupied homes for low-income newly married couples to solve the housing problems of young families. The Australian government has introduced various measures to deal with the housing affordability problem including a first self-occupied home owner savings account, a notional rental affordability scheme, national housing affordability fund and establishment of a land supply council. Many researches have found that housing pathways of young people in developed countries are similar in following a sequence that individuals move from the parental self-occupied homes through sharing accommodation, private rental housing and into self-occupied homes. Young singletons have different tenure preferences that may vary according to the educations levels, income levels, security of jobs, family backgrounds, gender, views on marriage and stages of life cycle. This paper attempts to understand the housing needs and aspirations of young singletons in Hong Kong, the reasons causing them to have different needs and aspirations and their expectations on the government in meeting their housing needs and aspiration. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were adopted to obtain the general information and views of young singleton respondents by questionnaires survey and to have better understanding of the relationship of young singleton’s backgrounds, reasons for moving out from parents, their preferences and affordability fro housing and expectations on government by in-depth interviews. The results indicate that nearly half (44%) of young singleton respondents had no plan to buy their self-occupied flats and chose renting and only 56% of young singleton respondents had plan to buy their self-occupied flats. To a certain extent, young singletons of Hong Kong change their housing needs and aspiration according to their stages of life-cycle. After leaving parental home, young singletons would choose sharing accommodation in private rental housing. They plan to buy their self-occupied flat when they get older or married. Factors such as age, education levels, income levels, gender, Chinese traditions, household size and present housing tenures of young singletons as well as government policy affect their housing needs and aspirations. Young singletons expect the government to provide them with more in-kind and in-cash housing subsidies in order to assist them meeting their housing needs and aspirations.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshYoung adults - Housing - China - Hong Kong-
dc.titleA study of housing needs and aspirations of young singletons in Hong Kong and their expectations on the government-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5334665-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Housing Management-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineHousing Management-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5334665-

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