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HONG KONG / SINGAPORE (25 August 2022) – The Urban Land Institute (ULI) has opened the Asia Pacific Centre for Housing (“the Centre”), a think-tank focusing on exploring actionable insights and practice on the high priority issue of housing.
The Centre will provide a platform for policymakers, developers, investors, occupiers and key industry players to deliver as well as develop initiatives that pinpoint housing issues across the region. Through its inaugural Hong Kong SAR Housing Initiative, it will offer technical assistance panels, studies and developer toolkits to address immediate issues relating to the supply of affordable housing in the city.
David Faulkner, President of ULI Asia Pacific, said: “The ULI Asia Pacific Centre for Housing will be key in providing practical and future-proof insights towards housing issues in the region. Through the Centre, we strive to facilitate constructive discussions around housing topics such as housing attainability and its fundamental drivers, rental housing models, emerging housing concepts and improving the affordability of home ownership.”
To commemorate the opening of the Asia Pacific Centre for Housing and highlight the importance of housing issues, ULI has also launched the inaugural edition of the Home Attainability Index, which gathers relevant data on housing and household income for 28 cities in five countries in Asia Pacific and measures housing affordability for home purchases and rent.
The Index finds that Hong Kong is the most expensive city in Asia Pacific to purchase a home, with a median price of USD1.26 million. Prices of local private housing has increased by six times since 2003 with a 150% surge in rent. Typical down payment for a mortgage stands around 40%, the highest in Asia Pacific, posing an additional challenge to a city facing low attainability and difficulty in purchasing a home. Yet, public rental housing is deeply subsidised and provides inexpensive housing for renters.
Other metropolitan cities in the region continue to face sky-high housing prices, hurt by inadequate supply. In Tokyo and Seoul, where single-family and low-density, multi-family homes represent the majority of housing stock, challenges in redeveloping old neighbourhoods have led to limited new supply and escalating home price.
In terms of median housing price to median household income, Shenzhen is the least affordable city for home purchase, largely due to limited new supply of commercial housing coupled with a rapid population increase. Singapore stands out as the only gateway city in Asia Pacific where housing is found to be relatively affordable and easily attainable, with the highest home ownership rate of nearly 90%, supported by the government’s commitment and policies to provide affordable and quality homes to its residents.
The ULI Asia Pacific Home Attainability Index is supported by volunteers who helped procure relevant local data and an advisory committee consisting of academics and housing experts in the countries covered in this report, ULI also conducted interviews with members of the committee to ensure accurate and relevant data and reasonable computations of housing affordability ratios.
The full report is available online at https://knowledge.uli.org/reports/research-reports/2022/uli-asia-pacific-home-attainability-index.