While Hong Kong may have distinguished itself as the least affordable place to own a home, residents of the Asian financial capital may take some comfort from the news that their city ranks only third in the world for degree of difficulty in renting a roof over your head.
A survey released last week put San Francisco and New York ahead of Hong Kong for rental affordability, with Singapore landing fifth on the scale published by Nested, a London-based property technology company.
Singapore Just 13% Cheaper Than HK
According to the report, monthly rentals for a single person in Hong Kong average £1,292 ($1611), with the cost of leasing a home for a family coming in at £2,452 a month. Even after the city put in place a new stamp duty last year designed to curb housing speculation, the annual income necessary for a family to rent in Hong Kong weighs in at £101,476 ($126,579).
In Singapore the survey estimates that it costs an average of £1,124 per month for singletons to find a flat, with families needing to pay £2,134 for their rentals, which Nested estimates will require an annual income of £88,310.
The tech startup calculated their rent affordability index based on average rental costs per square foot, as reflected in market listings. San Francisco grabbed the distinction of the most expensive rental globally with an average cost of £3.98 per square foot, while Hong Kong and Singapore cost £3.08 and £2.68 respectively.
The survey’s authors calculated minimum gross salaries required for renters to afford a home based on their estimates of the minimum space recommended for one person, and for a family.
The rental numbers may provide some solace for residents of Hong Kong who found their city at the top of a survey of housing unaffordability published just last month. That study by Demographia compared the cost of buying the median-priced home to the median salaries in cities around the world, with Chinese cities standing out for their high home prices.
Demographia ranked Hong Kong the least affordable place to buy a home globally, with the average unit costing 18.1 times the median income of a resident. Just behind the harbour city were three of its mainland counterparts, with Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin, coming in at second, third, and ninth respectively. Singapore ranked 13th, just below New York.
For rent affordability, Nested has Beijing at 29th, with a single person able to find a home with a monthly rent of £616, and a family needing an annual income of just £48,380. Shanghai showed similar numbers, and Tianjin was not listed in the rankings.
Other Asian cities included in the survey which covered 72 cities worldwide, were Tokyo, at £787 a month for a single person and Seoul where a solitary individual would pay £638 for a home.