When the British colonial rule was at its heyday, Hong Kong was an important member of the Empire. The most important wherefore for the why is that Hong Kong is located cheek by jowl with communist China, whom the Americans tried to, and still does, encircle. With such an advantage of close proximity, Hong Kong was engineered to become the Far East commanding post to spy China in the many years to come. The guess of removal of Britain's spying facilities from Hong Kong before the Union Jack was lowered in 1997 was so widely circulated that it almost became a known secret. Granted, there will probably be no definitive evidence to prove the mystery.
Lots of postcard show the scenery view of Hong Kong from the Peak Tower, which is the distinctively wok-shaped building in the background. Here we have a view looking back up to it, showing you how densely built this territory actually is.
The property market opportunists have played a major part in this cheek-by-jowl setting, you bet.