Hong Kong’s ‘Coffin Homes’

Housing costs in Hong Kong are among the wealthy Asian financial center’s biggest problems. Rents and home prices have steadily risen and are now at or near all-time highs.

The U.S.-based consultancy Demographia has ranked it the world’s least affordable housing market for seven straight years, beating Sydney, Vancouver and 400 other cities. Median house prices are 19 times the median income.

Some 200,000 of Hong Kong’s 7.3 million residents live in “subdivided units.” That’s up 18 percent from four years ago and includes 35,500 children 15 and under, government figures show. The figure doesn’t include many thousands more living in other “inadequate housing” such as rooftop shacks, metal cages resembling rabbit hutches and “coffin homes” made of stacked wooden bunks.

It’s a universe away from the lifestyles enjoyed by the rich living in lavish mountaintop mansions and luxury penthouses, or even those with middle-class accommodation in this former British colony. (AP)

See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Tumblr

Tse Chu sleeping

Tse Chu, a retired waiter, sleeps in his “coffin home” in Hong Kong, March 28, 2017. In wealthy Hong Kong, there’s a dark side to a housing boom, with hundreds of thousands of people forced to live in partitioned shoebox apartments, called “coffin homes,” and other forms of inadequate housing. As a new leader for the territory prepares to take office, housing unaffordability remains one of the Asian financial center’s biggest social problems. (Photo: Kin Cheung/AP)

Boy playing outside

A five-year-old boy plays outside his tiny home, which is made of concrete and corrugated metal, on the terrace of an apartment block in Hong Kong, April 20, 2017. He lives with his parents in an illegal rooftop hut located next to a public housing estate. (Photo: Kin Cheung/AP)

Li Suet-wen and family

Li Suet-wen and her son, 6, and daughter, 8, live in a 120-square-foot room crammed with a bunk bed, small couch, refrigerator, washing machine and small table, in an aging walkup in Hong Kong that she pays $580 per month for in rent and utilities. That’s nearly half the $1,290 she earns monthly at a bakery decorating cakes. (Photo: Kin Cheung/AP)

Mr. Yeung and Mr. Lui resting

Residents who only gave their surname Yeung, left, and Lui, rest in their “coffin homes” in Hong Kong, March 28, 2017. (Photo: Kin Cheung/AP)

Residential and commercial buildings

A general view is shown of residential and commercial buildings in Yau Tsim Mong District, May 6, 2017, which is a popular location for subdivided units in Hong Kong. (Photo: Kin Cheung/AP)

Kitty Au and pet hamster

Kitty Au plays with her pet hamster in her “coffin home” in Hong Kong, May 4, 2017. (Photo: Kin Cheung/AP)

Wong Tat-ming sitting in ‘coffin home’

Wong Tat-ming, 63, sits in his “coffin home” that is crammed with all his meager possessions, including a sleeping bag, small color TV and electric fan. He and another elderly resident complain to a visiting social worker about bedbugs and cockroaches. (Photo: Kin Cheung/AP)

Bus driving past building

A bus drives past a residential and commercial building where “coffin homes” are located in Hong Kong, April 25, 2017.(Photo: Kin Cheung/AP)

Residents of ‘coffin homes’

Li Suet-wen and her son, 6, and daughter, 8, live in a 120-square-foot room crammed with a bunk bed, small couch, refrigerator, washing machine and small table, in an aging walkup in Hong Kong that she pays $580 per month for in rent and utilities. That’s nearly half the $1,290 she earns monthly at a bakery decorating cakes. (Photo: Kin Cheung/AP)

Man tidying up bed

A resident who only gave his surname Sin, 55, tidies up the bed in his “coffin home” in Hong Kong. (Photo: Kin Cheung/AP)

Wong Tat-ming sitting in ‘coffin home’

Wong Tat-ming, 63, sits in his “coffin home” In Hong Kong. (Photo: Kin Cheung/AP)

Man walking past buildings

A man walks in front of a residential and commercial building, center, where the “coffin home” are located in Hong Kong. (Photo: Kin Cheung/AP)

Mr. Yeung resting

In this Thursday, March 28, 2017 photo, a resident who only gave his surname Yeung, takes rest in his “coffin home” in Hong Kong. In wealthy Hong Kong, there’s a dark side to a housing boom, with hundreds of thousands of people forced to live in partitioned shoebox apartments, or “coffin homes,” and other types of inadequate housing. (Photo: Kin Cheung/AP)

Rooftop hut

In this Saturday, May 6, 2017 photo, an illegal rooftop hut is seen in Hong Kong. There’s a dark side to the property boom in wealthy Hong Kong, where hundreds of thousands of people priced out of the market must live in partitioned apartments, or “coffin homes,” and other types of inadequate housing. (Photo: Kin Cheung/AP)

Simon Wong watching TV

Simon Wong, an unemployed man, watches TV in his “coffin home” in Hong Kong, April 25, 2017. (Photo: Kin Cheung/AP)

Resident walking outside home

A resident walks outside his illegal rooftop hut, located next to a public housing estate, against the backdrop. of the Hong Kong skyline, May 6, 2017. (Photo: Kin Cheung/AP)

Mr. Lui having dinner

A resident who only gave his surname Lui, has dinner in his “coffin home” in Hong Kong, March 28, 2017. (Photo: Kin Cheung/AP)

Shared toilet and sink

A set of grimy toilets and single sink shared by two dozen inhabitants, including a few single women, are located in an apartment in Hong Kong, March 28, 2017. In wealthy Hong Kong, there’s a dark side to a housing boom, with hundreds of thousands of people forced to live in partitioned shoebox apartments, or “coffin homes,” and other types of inadequate housing. (Photo: Kin Cheung/AP)

Li Suet-wen and family

Li Suet-wen and her son, 6, and daughter, 8, live in a 120-square-foot room crammed with a bunk bed, small couch, refrigerator, washing machine and small table, in an aging walkup in Hong Kong that she pays $580 per month for in rent and utilities. That’s nearly half the $1,290 she earns monthly at a bakery decorating cakes. (Photo: Kin Cheung/AP)

Cheung Chi-fong sleeping

Cheung Chi-fong, 80, sleeps in a space where he cannot stretch out his legs, in his tiny “coffin home” in Hong Kong, March 28, 2017. (Photo: Kin Cheung/AP)

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes