For many a Hongkonger, dreams of owning a home in the city are little more than a pipe dream. The rental situation isn’t always entirely viable, either. Hong Kong’s high-rises sport some sky-high rental prices to match, but when matchbox living just doesn’t quite appeal, you may find yourself looking further afield for accommodation. So, if you’re prepared to think outside the shoebox, what could you trade in your few-hundred square feet for?
Seas the Day
Houseboats have been a popular choice among alternative accommodation resources. They vary significantly in sizes and price points, while most boast spacious outdoor areas. However, recent events in Discovery Bay that led to the closure of the Marina (pictured) and some 200 boat owners in need of alternate arrangements. With lengthy waiting lists for mooring elsewhere, this is becoming an increasingly less viable option.
Architects are divided on the feasibility of container homes for Hong Kong – they aren’t particularly malleable or suitable for high-rise living in a city with some of the world’s heftiest land prices. Having said that, Sham Shui Po is set to see the city’s first project of its kind. 90 pre-fabricated homes made from old shipping containers will be built in less than one year, providing a potential solution to the city’s housing shortage and lengthy waiting times for public housing (up to five years).
Keep it in the Community
Living alone on a budget can leave you stuck in a studio with your fridge doubling-up as a nightstand. If you’re looking for something a little more spacious – and we can’t say we’d blame you – co-living may come a-calling. With convenient locations, more affordable accommodation, and a wealth of shared facilities on-site, this spin on student halls for millennials could be just the fit for you.
A Lofty Life
Wong Chuk Hang and Chai Wan boast many a hidden gem – lofty, spacious sanctuaries in industrial buildings and converted warehouse spaces. High ceilings, lower rents, and enviably large living areas. What could the downside possibly be? Strictly speaking, they’re not entirely legal – Hong Kong’s zoning laws have buildings registered as either industrial or residential, and if you’re reported, you could face eviction without recourse.
Couch Surfing 2.0
This is one for the commitment-phobes among us. If you struggle with committing to a phone contract, let alone a fixed-term lease on an apartment (with the hefty deposits that inevitably follow suit), week-long stints across town may help you fare better. That’s exactly what one expat did a few years ago, in a bid to get to know the city better (the project was chronicled on the @yearbnb Instagram account).
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