Earlier in October, an apartment in Hong Kong was sold for USD$57 million, a recording breaking price, locally and globally. The 6,158 square foot duplex apartment is in a building called “Conduit Road 39″ located at the western mid-levels of Hong Kong Island. The unidentified buyer is from Mainland China.
Recording breaking price in time of recession
At the same time, Hong Kong has become the number one in the income disparity list. As the property market keeps rising in time of recession due to the inflow of hot money, the dream of sweet home is getting further and further away from ordinary people, such as 貝卡 from uwants:
No more new clothes, good food, traveling and fancy mobile, and what's more
Cannot support a wife, nor kid, then I could have HKD7000 per month to pay the mortage.
In ten months, I could buy in a square foot.
In ten years, I could buy in a bit more than 10 square…
In 100 years, I could buy in the bathroom of the apartment in Conduit Road 39.
Then I called up fortune teller asking her how many years I could live on,
she answared that I had 1,300 years to come,
Then I could buy in an apartment when I were in my 800 years…
Stay away from the city center… and then from Hong Kong
When answering the question of a professional couple who could not afford to buy a decent house in downtown area, the Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang suggested them to build their home from smaller apartment unit away from the city, where there are still apartments marked at HKD4000 (USD520) per square foot.
Erynnyes from Those were the day discussed the implications of Tsang's answer:
In fact the Chief Secretary for Administration Henry Tang Ying-yen, has spelled out his vision for Hong Kong earlier this year that “by 2020, improved road and rail networks may mean Hong Kong people could be better off living in Guangdong than staying input.”
Hung One Bean was outraged by such logic:
Money game, number game
Recently a video clip of a TV drama in 1999 in which the protagonist was complaining about the economic situation when the property bubbles had devastated the middle class and the poor has been circulated widely among Internet users via youtube and facebook. Because of copyrights issue, the clip has been taken down several times but netizens keep on uploading and circulating the clip around. Below in a version that remixes the sound of the protagonist with photos of government officials, property developers and the poor:
Here is the transcription of the protagonist's speech:
I have tried, I tried my best to stick to my position, working days and nights and earned a living. I have tried. But people out there, people out there do they know anything about construction and building? They just invest with little bit of money and time, push up the property market and make a hugh amount of money. Is that fair? Please ask people around, ask any people randomly what do they need. Their answer is very simple. What they want is a very simple apartment. Why do they have to spend their whole life to pay the housing mortgage? Because the rich people is manipulating the world. The richer one is, they are more into this game. Is this world fair? Is this world fair?
Among the photos shown in the video clip is the “Conduit Road 39″ building. Apart from its price, the building also reflects how the property developer “played their game”. The 46-storey building turned into a scandal due to the “auspicious” floor numbering system. A total of 42 intermediate floor numbers are omitted in order to turn the top floor into “88th floor” (lucky number for Chinese) and the missing floors are 14, 24, 34, 64 and all floors between 40-59, and the floor number which follows 68 is 88. It seems that Hong Kong has become the Orwell's animal farm where monetary power can redefine our sense of number.
Donald Tsang Unwanted
People's anger cannot be contained. Netizens decided to organize a rally against the Chief Executive Donald Tsang on 1 of November. There are several groups in the facebook for the mobilization, including “Power of all citizens against Tsang“, “Light bulb Tsang, We have enough of you“. Below is one of the rally posters: