Keep housing unaffordable so we can eat

I am unable to write much today, being beside myself with grief on learning that up to 1.3 million of Hong Kong’s real-estate agents might lose their jobs as a result of the government’s measures to cool down the property market. The industry is asking sympathizers to sign a petition…

The alliance, led by Hong Kong Real Estate Agencies General Association chairwoman Chu Kin-lan, Centaline founder Shih Wing-ching, and Midland Realty’s managing director Pierre Wong Tsz-wa, said people could leave their signatures at one of more than 4,000 shops.

Only 4,000! That means the other 237,084 branches of real-estate agencies won’t be taking part – presumably because the poor staff, seeing their commissions plummet as fewer people trade concrete boxes – are too hungry and weak even to hold a clipboard and pen.

I have 4,000 shops to visit.

What property agents have now been reduced to eating – if they’re lucky.



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13 Responses to Keep housing unaffordable so we can eat

  1. Bigot says:

    Are the real-estate agents over-staffed? Time to downsize.

  2. NENT PropertyDeveloper says:

    What surprised me somewhat was the news that CY has just gone ahead with imposing these new property taxes without thinking of consulting LegCo.

    If he decides to cancel them for any reason, does he then have to go cap in hand to the legislators to tell them not to bother their little heads about a few billion?

  3. aghast says:

    I share your grief. The stamp duty hasn’t lowered prices, just closed off the best and most popular investment avenue in town – where after all most people do already own property.

    The agents are not the cause of the buoyant market, but it seems they are the ones who have to pay the price.

  4. colonelkurtz says:

    Maybe the could be a govt sponsored culling program. I’m sure we could fly in some Australian kangaroo shooters or Canadian seal pup clubbers. If that’s too cruel for the real estate agent liberationists, maybe a trendier sounding, trap, neuter and release program.

  5. Grog says:

    The agents are partly the cause, working with landlords to drive up the price. Roll on a 50 percent correction in the property price.

    Having said that, the plan at one of the big agencies to “name and shame” consultants and put them on a stage holding signs for not making targets does seem a tad harsh. Maybe they could give them a few lashes with the light cane in Statute Square.

  6. Bela Bent says:

    I am holding a Flag Day here to support the Distressed Real Estate Workers’ and Rachman Clansmen’s Association (a new charity, paying its sole administrator 100K a month, never scrutinised by the tax authorities, like all Hong Kong “charities”).
    The flag sellers, as on most Hong Kong “flag days”, get 10% commission.

    Charity and Religion. Much better than real estate trading for getting ahead in life. These young people will never learn.

  7. Big Al says:

    Personally, I’m worried about how civil service morale might be affected by the imminent culling of spotty estate agents. As I write, I’m sure that civil service unions are preparing a press release describing the vicarious anguish felt by civil servants, the corresponding reduction morale and the consequential increase in pay and allowances that is the only way to restore morale.

  8. Chopped Onions says:

    Me? I’m dancing in the streets!I have no sympathy whatsoever. None, Zero.
    Nada. Ingen. Niets. Hakuna
    Roll on the crash!!
    And if youre one of those who bought as an investment, and expected your tenants to pay your mortgage, I’ve got drums…bang bang

  9. Aghast says:


    Sorry to hear about your loss.

    I guess in your perfect world no-one would ever rent property. Is that right? Might be a hitch there…

  10. Chopped Onions says:

    @ Aghast

    What loss?

    nothing wrong with renting, everything wrong with unscrupulous landlords jacking up the rent because its the “market rate” when said market is already over inflated and skewered towards the greedy and rich.

  11. Joe Blow says:

    Aghast, during the property crash of ’98 I read letters in the paper from “investors” -who had just lost their shirt- DEMANDING that the government take action to restore their unreal, inflated wealth.

    Once the effects of the end of QE are felt, we may see a very similar scenario. Oh yes, we will.

  12. PCC says:

    What is “unscrupulous” about a landlord charging the highest rent they can get for their property?

  13. Chopped Onions says:

    Oh dear……………

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