Would-be home owners out in the cold

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 March, 2011, 12:00am

Property prices are rising too quickly. Ordinary people cannot afford the expensive properties. It could take a lifetime to buy a flat.

Why do we have this problem? I think speculators are the ones to blame.

Officials always say there is a lack of land and the population is growing so there's not enough to meet market demand. I think it's an excuse.

Even when it comes to practical solutions such as the home-ownership scheme, the government seems to be dragging its feet. This only leads to more social problems.

The situation does not benefit anyone except those who invest in the property market.

Herbert So Wai-pui, The Chinese Foundation Secondary School

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Herbert. We always like to think of Hong Kong as a 'free market'. And, indeed, we rate high on such lists each year. But free markets don't take care of ordinary folk. They also open themselves to speculation, as you rightly point out.

It would be great if Hong Kong's government could follow Australia's model with home ownership. The government there believes that people who own property will be more secure in old age, so it helps them with special grants. That might be a workable plan here.

Susan, Editor