Hong Kong housing is so expensive that many people live in cages

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/08/23/hong-kong-housing-is-so-expens.html


Hard to imagine that a modern low-tax capitalist government could have produced a housing result worse than Soviet communal apartments,* but here we are. Even the high-tech capsule alternative to the cages shown in the video still has people on Earth living as if they’re on a cramped space colony.

[* institutions which originated in a pre-Revolutionary 19th-century housing shortage]


To be fair, Hong Kong has something like 7.5 million people living in an area slightly larger than 1,000 miles^2. Take out space for infrastructure and industrial uses and the living space is even more cramped. Were it not for external factors (being a gateway to the largest market in the world) the population would be far more reasonable.

That tax angle makes so much sense! Big companies would far rather pay through the nose for real estate, than pay a proportionate business tax. It saves them a lot of money. So their savings is taken out of the lives and well being of the people without so much money. Everybody Wins! (who matters)

The invisible hand at work.


That works out to around 7500 per sq. mile, less than many American cities.


Lifeboat Earth indeed.


And they didn’t even have to cross the Sonora desert to get there!

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1,106.4 sq. km, which is 427 sq. miles

It’s actually 17,345 per sq. mile, making it the forth densest country or dependent territory in the world behind Singapore, Monaco and Macau. The only other country to have a density of over 10000 per sq.mile is Gibraltar. While there are denser cities around the world, people can always choose to live outside them and commute, or have their businesses outside the city limits. If you live outside any of those five city states then you live in a different country, with all the problems of different legal systems, as well as dealing with crossing a national border (or internal border in Hong Kong’s and Macau’s case) every day.

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