It seems to me that HK (and I would say Chinese in general) houses are built to last 40 years or so max, while in Europe you have houses that are 150 years old and that are still nice to live in (with regular repairs, of course).
This might be a new trend, but if you look at some HK villages (in the NT) you can find villages which would be considered slums in Europe, but here contain multi-million dollar properties. So I wonder if this isn't a Chinese thing. If it is indeed a Chinese thing, why are Chinese houses not built to last? I thought that one reason might be that Chinese families are supposed (traditionally) to be sedentarised (which would call for good, long-lasting houses unlike migratory groups) but keep growing, so one would need to expand the house every 20 years or so, which might be more efficiently done by replacing the old building with a new one.
On the other hand, it's true that in Europe in the 1960s they were also building sucky buildings where you could hear the neighbour switching on and off the light. So maybe it's just the developers' desire to make as much money as possible by building good-looking but quality-lacking buildings, and the people don't have a choice?
Or maybe it's the "make money quickly" attitude of the Chinese (at least in HK) who see buildings as another "speculative investment" and plan to keep it for 2 years (until the price has gone up 50%) and then sell it and buy a new one for another 2 years?