The government’s residential sites for sale in the next quarter may include projects that are restricted for local buyers only, Development Secretary Paul Chan told media after announcing details of the government’s land sales program for the next quarter.
The government will maintain its relatively fast pace of increasing land supply, which plans to sell six residential sites — two located in Tseung Kwan O, and the rest in Kau To Shan, Jordan, Tuen Mun and Sai Kung, respectively, —through tender during October to December to provide 1,760 residential units.
Sites in Tseung Kwan O, Tuen Mun and Sai Kung will include specifications to build no-less-than a certain number of units in future developments, according to Chan.
Together with the West Rail property development projects, the total new home supply in the next quarter will reach about 2,650, he added.
“If the legal procedure is completed in time, lands tendered for sales in the coming quarter could be developed for the ‘Hong Kong land for Hong Kong people’ policy,” said the Development Secretary.
Maintaining a long-term sustainable supply of land in Hong Kong is fundamental to solving the city’s housing issues, Chan said. In the first two quarters of the fiscal year started on April 1, 2012, land sales by the government is estimated to provide as many as 3,380 units in the city.
Together with all MTR property development projects, new homes in the first three quarters of the fiscal year may reach 12,000 units, as compared with the government targetted annual supply of 20,000 apartments, according to property agency Midland Holdings Ltd.
However, the new home completions have seriously lagged behind the government predictions, according to Buggle Lau, chief analyst from Midland.
In the first seven months of the year, only 2,423 new residential units were completed in the city, which was only half of the 4,692 units recorded in the same period last year.
“New home completion in the first seven months was only 20 percent of the 11,890 target set out for the year. Despite an increased number of new property launches, the total of newly completed homes is unlikely to reach 10,000 throughout 2012,” said Lau.
The government will stick to the supply-led strategy to boost land supplies in Hong Kong, Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung said on Friday, adding that the housing issue is the crux of government work.
“The new government has decided to make the Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) a permanent part of property control measures,” said Cheung. “The government has been closely monitoring the market trend. If prices fluctuate considerably, it will introduce further measures to cool the market when necessary.”
On Thursday, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying announced 10 new measures to alleviate the city’s overheated housing problem. Leung stressed that the government is setting out plans for a significant increase in housing supply in the city and it may further boost land supply in the city on market responses.