TVB artistes Sammi Cheung (張秀文) and Kayan Choi (蔡嘉欣) made guest appearances on the TVB program How to Buy a House <我要做業主> to share their struggles with becoming home owners, and their experiences are definitely resonating with the new generation.
From living in tong laus, to village houses, and to private estates Sammi Cheung has been saving money to buy a home for the past three years. There’s still no luck in sight.
“I’m almost spending as much as I’m earning,” she said. In a high-cost living area like Hong Kong, where housing prices are through the roof, many people find that they’re living paycheck by paycheck. “It’s so hard to save. Even if you manage to save up to 20,000 Hong Kong dollars a year, you’ll find that it’s hard to save more.”
Last year, the Hong Kong government announced that it will relax the cap for mortgage loan eligibility. Mortgage loans up to 90 percent will be eligible for first-time buyers.
But for Sammi, the new relaxed mortgage rules are not helping her with the stress of saving money. “My current income just can’t justify it,” she said. “I’ve thought about getting married and sharing the load with my partner. I’ve also thought about buying a smaller apartment and rent it out, so I can use the rent money to pay for the mortgage of a home.”
Kayan has similar experiences. She doesn’t believe that mortgage relieve would help homeowners and boost the real estate market. “Even if the downpayment is only 10 percent, there’s still that stressful 90 percent. I rather use this time to earn more money and save more money so I could afford a larger downpayment. People like to think that it’s easy for artistes to buy homes, but that’s all very surface level. We don’t have a stable income. It’s hard to get loan approval from the bank. I don’t want to spend my life saving money only to realize that I still have the rest of my life to pay back the loans. It’s tiring.”
While many viewers sympathized with her case, netizens pointed out the irony in her claims, as the amount of luxury handbags she owns is enough to pay downpayment for a home.
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.