Globalization, de-industrialization and Hong Kong's private rental sector

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

14 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)996-1006
Journal / PublicationHabitat International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


A number of scholars have identified a changing role for private rental housing, as it becomes a more mainstream tenure to house the insecure rich and poor alike in globalizing cities. Hong Kong is an important global city and is experiencing rising rates of social polarization associated with globalization generally, its articulation with the Chinese economy specifically and the impact of the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997. Our empirical research suggests that Hong Kong's private rental sector has responded to and articulates with the city's specific globalization trajectory. It increasingly houses the highly paid, highly skilled but relatively insecure elite and the low paid, low skilled and very insecure underclass, for whom prospects of public housing or home ownership are diminishing. Private renters are younger, more mobile and house both top-end and bottom-end ethnic minorities. The traditional role of private renting and large scale obsolete inner-city housing stock, combined with the aggressive development of up-market and highly desirable private housing estates makes the sector particularly adept at meeting the needs of Hong Kong's hour glass shaped global society. We anticipate that the size of the private rental sector will increase, albeit from a low base and that its hour-glass shape will become more pronounced. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Globalization, Hong Kong, Private renting