People living in Hong Kong’s many housing estates face higher food prices than other areas of the city, and upscale wet markets could be to blame.
In a recent interview with the Post, the co-founder of social enterprise Agent for Change, Wayne Chau Pui-por, said prices in Tin Shui Wai were 20 per cent higher than those in Wan Chai.
Many wet markets and shopping malls, including those in Tin Shui Wai, have been renovated by Link Reit in the past decade. The Link Reit is a private property developer created by the government in 2004. Link Reit took control of hundreds of shopping malls, markets, and car parks in public housing estates that were previously owned by the Housing Authority.
There is concern that the renovation of these markets by the Link Reit has pushed up rents and the prices of everyday goods and services. The rising rents have also forced local businesses to make way for larger and more expensive chain stores.
Young Post spoke to shoppers at Tin Shing Market, a Link Reit property in Tin Shui Wai that was renovated in 2016. A Tin Shui Wai resident, surnamed Gao, was worried that his food expenses will continue to increase in the future. “There is a very big difference in price now – it is now much more pricey,” he said. “I definitely will not come here as often ... I sometimes go to other markets to buy food instead.”
Gao also believed the quality of some food has worsened since the market was renovated.
Another resident, surnamed Yeung, agreed. “It is definitely more expensive than before the renovation; each ingredient might be a few dollars more expensive,” she said, adding that she now has to shop around more to find better deals.