What is Shaping the Elderly Housing Finance Reform Effort in Hong Kong?

By Sung Yip Lam and Walter Yu.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In recent years, issues of the importance of and access to homeownership have triggered substantial academic research and policy debate. The rapid rise in home prices in Hong Kong has focused new attention on the role that housing and housing wealth plays in enhancing the financial security for families and individuals as they move into their retirement years. The rapid growth of the aging population presents a serious challenge to policy makers in respect of societal, economic and political issues related to the elderly people in Hong Kong. While acquiring a home can boost wealth accumulation, many retired people face unmanageable housing payments burdens. Given the importance of housing wealth as an overall component of the wealth holdings of older homeowners, until recently, surprisingly little was known about how housing wealth influences the consumption and investment decisions of households, especially as they relate to retirees.
The reverse mortgage may be an attractive option for providing the ‘house-rich-cash-poor’ because it provides extra income for the elderly without having to sell their homes. Accumulation of housing wealth undoubtedly enhances the well-being of many. At the same time, the inability of all households to realize the benefits of homeownership leaves behind gapping holes in the retirement security safety net. Enhanced coordination of income assistance and housing assistance efforts is essential if governments are to meet successfully the challenge of enabling all current and future generations to live out their retirement years with dignity. The result is of interest to various bodies such as government, bankers, financial planners, non-profit organisations and consumption analysts, etc. In addition, the findings in this study shed lights on the further exploration of the expectations of owing a property when entering into their retirement age.

Keywords: Elderly Housing, Wealth Accumulation, Consumption, Reverse Mortgage, Hong Kong

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.207-222. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 688.328KB).

Sung Yip Lam

Director, R & D, The Age Tech, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Mr. Lam Sung Yip received his MEng. from Imperial College, London University, and his MSc. in Comparative International Studies from the University of Oxford. He is currently a PhD candidate in UK. Mr. Lam is currently examining the implication of global ageing on society. Mr. Lam is a devoted writer and commentator. His articles and commentaries have widely appeared in a variety of eminent media outlets. He is also an advisor to numbers of local NGO.

Walter Yu

Hong Kong

Mr Walter Yu holds a BSc degree from the University of Hong Kong. He is also a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyor and a CFA holder. He is currently an associate director with an international surveying consultant based in Hong Kong. His work focuses on the greater china region.

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