High property costs in Hong Kong have prompted a lot of people to live in cheap, tiny housing units that have become famously known as coffin cubicles. Taking a cue from the capsule hotels found in Japan, some entrepreneurs have created a successful business in Hong Kong renting out single-sized bed space pods to city dwellers.
Offering quite an upgrade to the increasingly common coffin homes in the city, each of these space capsule pods comes equipped with air-conditioning, a bed with a mattress, a pillow, bedding, outlets for charging devices, three different lights, and a small fire extinguisher. The pods are also secured with key-card access and lodgers are provided with shared space for kitchen, bathroom and common area.
One entrepreneur named Sandy Wong has so far rented out 51 space capsule pods in six different “apartments” across the city since he began the project three months ago.
“So many people in Hong Kong are living in cubicle homes or partitioned flats, but the conditions are really bad. There’s no proper ventilation, the places are infested with bugs and they smell,” Wong told South China Morning Post. “I thought to myself: ‘Is there a way to provide a more comfortable space for these people?’”
Setting his sights on the Hong Kong’s lucrative property market, Wong’s modernized capsules, which are all manufactured in Guangzhou, China, are a much more comfortable alternative available at competitive prices. Each pod is rented out between HKD $2,800 ($360) and HKD $4,500 ($580) for a month’s stay, which is the minimum.
Measuring a little over a meter high, two meters long and covering an area of 25 square feet, a 700 square foot apartment holds a maximum of 10 capsules. While he has a long way to go, Wong is confident he can rent out 1,000 more units in just one year due to the market’s huge demand for affordable quality housing.