Hong Kong has been the least affordable city in the world for 9 years running, and the housing crisis is one of the factors fueling the 12-week protests

  • Hong Kong’s housing-affordability crisis is a factor that has been fueling the 12-week-long protests, which were initially sparked by a proposed extradition bill, according toBloomberg.
  • Both the city’srental and home-sales markets are being negatively impacted by the protests.
  • The protests also appear to be pushing wealthy Hong Kong residents to invest their money in luxury markets overseas, according toReuters.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The protests that have flooded the streets of Hong Kong for the past 12 weeks are taking a toll on the city’s housing market.

While the protests were sparked by a proposed extradition bill, the city’shousing affordability crisis has also been adding fuel to the fire: Residents have said the exorbitant cost of housing is one of the reasons they are continuing to protest.

Bloombergreported that in June, at the start of the protests, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RCIS) released a survey that forecasted a 3% jump in rents on the main island in the next year.

Now, 12 weeks into the protests, theRCIS has released another survey that predicts those rents will drop 2% in the next year.

Read more:How Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests went from peaceful demonstrations to tear-gas-filled clashes in 3 months

Hong Kong is home to one of the most expensive rental markets in the world. As Business Insider previouslyreported, it is the world’s most expensive city to rent a two-bedroom apartment in — it costs, on average, $3,685 a month.

The housing situation in Hong Kong has, for years, been described in terms like ” frenzy” and ” crisis.” Aboutone in five people in the city live below the poverty line. Earlier this year, Business Insider’sHarrison Jacobs reported that Hong Kong was ranked the least affordable city in the world for the ninth year in a row by the15th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey.

But the consequences of the city’s lack of affordable housing don’t end there.

In 2018, Business Insiderreported that some of Hong Kong’s homeless residents, dubbedMcRefugees, have resorted to calling 24-hour fast-food restaurants home. Others areliving in 20-foot “coffin homes” where the starting rent is around $180 a month. And for discounts of up to 20%, some locals are consideringliving in haunted homes which, in Hong Kong, is considered taboo.

It’s not just Hong Kong’s rental market that’s feeling the heat.

Bloomberg has alsoreported that, according to Ricacorp Properties Ltd., the amount of residential property traded in Hong Kong in July saw a 35% year-over-year decrease.

Read more: 2 members of Hong Kong’s richest family have lost $1 billion each since the protests started. Here’s why the protests are costing the Kwoks more than the city’s other billionaires.

The protests appear to be pushing wealthy Hong Kong residents to invest their money in luxury real estate overseas.

Reutersreported that Juwai.com — a China-based international property website — revealed that in the past quarter, there was a 50% increase in Hong Kong enquiries for Australian properties. The report also reveals that there has been an uptick in interest in Australia’s millionaires-only visa program.

“In the current environment, Australia appears as a safe harbor — both comfortably close and far from home,” said Georg Chmiel, the executive chairman of Juwai.com, in a statement toReuters.

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