MORE Hong Kong families are having relatives cremated despite the existence of low-cost burial plots in China, a leading undertaker has claimed. Mainland companies have claimed a lively demand for burgeoning funeral services, offering elaborate tombs in opulent rural gardens and services such as spreading ashes at sea. Despite this, a spokesman for the Hong Kong Funeral Home said demand for cremation had boomed from 60 to 70 per cent a few years ago to 85 to 90 per cent of the parlour's 3,600 clients a year. Some expatriates and Taiwanese flew relatives' remains home, but cremation was still a favourite among local Chinese. ''Local people have a sense of political uncertainty. Young Chinese are opting for cremation in case they migrate to North America or Australia in two or three years, so they can take their relatives with them as hand luggage,'' the spokesman said. Urban Council crematorium charges had recently risen to $945, but this was still cheaper than in the United States and Australia. Demand for cremation in Hong Kong was increasing despite the competitive cost of a $30,000 to $40,000 family burial plot in Shenzhen, compared with $220,000 for a permanent plot or $18,000 for a 10-year plot in Hong Kong.