Homeownership of new immigrants in Hong Kong : before and after the handover

Hon-Kwong LUI*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


As a densely populated city, Hong Kong’s housing market is the least affordable in the world. This paper aims to uncover the underlying socio-economic factors behind the changing homeownership patterns of new immigrants before and after the handover. While Mainland immigrants enjoyed the highest likelihood of homeownership among new immigrants before the handover, their advantage disappeared after the handover. The findings support the Assimilation theory’s prediction that homeownership is lower among those less assimilated in general, but not among Mainland migrants. Those who were married, well-educated, employers; and had longer residences were more likely to be homeowners. Various admission schemes are implemented to attract talents, professionals and entrepreneurs to reside in Hong Kong but there is no accompanying housing policy to enable immigrants to become homeowners. The results show the homeownership rate of new immigrants dropped by more than half after the handover. Immigrants may feel less secure calling Hong Kong their home if they don’t own a “home”.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
JournalHousing Studies
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

I thank the Editor and the three anonymous referees for constructive comments and suggestions. I also thank Shenjing He and participants at the Asia-Pacific Network for Housing Research Conference 2022 for useful comments.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Ethnicity
  • assimilation
  • admission scheme
  • ageing population
  • language skills


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