Most Hongkongers happy with quality of life, but expect it to get worse

New survey shows 72pc enjoy their own neighbourhoods, with transportation and easy access to living necessities the main considerations

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 October, 2016, 12:24pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 October, 2016, 7:12pm

Most Hong Kong residents are happy with where they live, but more than half think their quality of life will get worse over the next five years, according to a new survey.

International property group Grosvenor Asia’s survey of what Hongkongers value in their neighbourhoods found 59 per cent thought Hong Kong provided a good quality of life while 32.8 per cent thought it didn’t, listing property prices, population density and the political environment as factors.

Over half expect their quality of life to get worse over the five years, while 17 per cent think it will get better and 18 per cent think there won’t be any difference.

As for neighbourhoods, 72 per cent were satisfied with their lot, with residents listing transportation and easy access to living necessities as reasons, according to the survey released on Monday and conducted in conjunction with the Public Opinion Programme of the University of Hong Kong.

Safety, air quality and transport were the most important factors in choosing a neighbourhood, while proximity to school or work, community feel and vibrancy were rated the lowest.

Hong Kong Island had the highest satisfaction rating while Kowloon West had the lowest, which the survey put down to transport links and greenery.

The survey was more optimistic than other recent liveability research, including a Chinese University of Hong Kong survey released earlier this month which found four in 10 Hongkongers wanted to leave the city, while over 40 per cent were unhappy with the housing situation.

Four in 10 Hongkongers want to leave the city, with some already planning their exit

Grosvenor Asia Pacific chief executive Benjamin Cha said although the study appeared to contradict previous studies, it was important to remember the study focussed on the person’s immediate neighbourhood.

“We were all very surprised that such positivity came through,” he said.

“It is encouraging to see objective results that are at least showing in a certain way positivity.”

Grosvenor Asia Pacific head of research Tim Jowett added: “It’s interesting that generally people are more satisfied in the neighbourhood they live in, when you ask that question, than the city as a whole.”

In general, Hong Kong’s neighbourhoods are providing what people are looking for, Jowett said.

“Many of the factors that Hong Kong people look for in a neighbourhood are also the things they like in the neighbourhood in which they live,” he said.

But he said the main areas where needs weren’t being met were cleanliness and quality of built design.

Grosvenor wants to increase its development exposure in Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong and wants to be more deeply involved with the design of property projects across the region, Cha said.

The survey was the first of its kind Grosvenor has conducted in any city around the world and questioned 1000 Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong residents between late August and mid September.

Hong Kong must focus on ‘liveability’ to improve its sustainability ranking

Design and consultancy firm Arcadis ranked Hong Kong 16 out of 100 cities worldwide on its sustainable cities index this year, a drop from last year when it ranked eighth.

Hong Kong fell from 6th place in 2015 to 81st place this year on the “people” measure, which takes into account the quality of life in a city.

Arcadis Asia chief executive Matt Bennion told the Post in September that Hong Kong would need to invest in projects that made the city more liveable if it was going to improve its ranking.