A tiny nook for an urn can cost up to £180,000. With 200,000 sets of ashes waiting for a resting place, the city is running out of options
“Per square foot, it has become more expensive to house the dead than the living,” says Kwok Hoi Pong, chairman of the Hong Kong Funeral Business Association. “A niche for an urn in a private columbarium in the best position can cost up to HK$1.8m. This is the phenomenon in Hong Kong.”
A ground burial plot can cost anywhere between HK$3m (£300,000) and HK$5m, but in the city’s congested cemeteries, vacancies rarely become available. Land is so scarce that 90% of the 48,000 people a year who die in Hong Kong are cremated. But increasingly finding the space even to store ashes is becoming nigh on impossible.