Too busy saving for your first flat to read the news last week? Well here it is, in a nutshell!
1. Record breaking Hong Kong – least affordable place to buy a home
In case there was any doubt in your mind, Hong Kong ranked as the least affordable city to buy a home for the sixth year running, with average flat prices at 19 times gross annual median income according to the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey released January 25.
This score was the highest recorded (least affordable) in the 12 years of the survey. The survey uses data from 2015, and before house prices started to drop. However, prices have got a long way to go before Hong Kong’s house prices fall into the simply “seriously unnaffordable” bracket with a price ratio of less than ‘5’.
The most affordable major metropolitan markets in 2015 were in the United States, which had a moderately unaffordable rating of 3.7.followed by Japan with 3.9.
2. And for those without a home – Hong Kong shows it has a heart
As the polar vortex blasted through Hong Kong the Home Affairs Department opened shelters for the homeless but many Hong Kongers realised this was not enough and took to the streets to donate blankets, warm clothing and food. Localiiz’s Suzannah Van Rooy was one of those who answered the call and joined Jeff Rottmeyer’s Helping the Homeless to give out blankets and supplies in Nam Cheong. Other groups and individuals also did what they could, as reported in Hong Kong Free Press, showing that even if you can’t speak the language, you can still make a difference.
3. Booksellers case – “We’ll call you…”
Following confirmation that “disappeared” bookseller, Lee Bo, was on the mainland, the Guangdong Public Security Department replied to the Hong Kong government requests for a meeting with Lee Bo with a dismissive:
“At present we have no further news. If there is news, we will notify [Hong Kong] in a timely fashion.”
Meanwhile Swedish police are in Thailand to investigate the disappearance of Lee’s colleague, Swedish passport holder Gui Minhai. Gui had also reappeared in the mainland, confessing on China’s state TV to having gone AWOL after a fatal hit-and-run accident several years ago, but then realising the errors of his ways, and had turned himself in. The European Union described the televised broadcasts of confessions by Chinese and European citizens “unacceptable”
4. Students storm the court of King Arthur
Arthur Li’s rule as HKU council chairman was never going to be smooth sailing, and after two weeks of calm following his appointment, things kicked off this week with students demonstrating and “storming” a council meeting on Tuesday. Students were demanding a review of the governing body’s structure, and ironically, the council had agreed to do so when the students mobbed the meeting.
Li then demonstrated his lack of conflict resolution skills by holding a press conference two days later and announcing that the students acted as if they were “on drugs” and were surely under the influence of political parties (i.e. the Civic Party). This further inflamed the students. Those with calmer heads are suggesting that both sides should grow up and learn to communicate in a more productive manner.
“Sadly, this very small minority of students are rather like people who’ve been poisoned by drugs,” he said. “Once you’ve taken drugs, your behaviour can become very irrational.” ….Thus, he voiced his apology to Hong Kong society for the behavior of the radical students. China Daily
5. Boxing “wonder kid” gets his chance at world champion title
Hong Kong’s boxing “wonder kid” Rex Tso is getting a jab at World Boxing Association super flyweight world champion title with the announcement of a three-fight deal for 2016.
The first two fights are scheduled for May and September, and if the until-now-unbeaten Tso is successful, he will take on current world title holder, Japan’s Kohei Kono, in a title fight in December. All matches are to be held in Hong Kong, and if he comes through victorious, Tso will be Hong Kong’s first boxing world champion. This is the kind of record we do want!
More reading: News in a Nutshell – January 24