RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Government unveils 5 sites up for tender from July-September

The residential sites can yield 1,850 flats.

The government is selling five residential sites on Lantau Island, the Peak, Tuen Mun and Kai Tak via tender in July-September as Hong Kong works double time to ease its chronic housing shortage.

The sites can provide up to 1,850 flats, secretary for development Michael Wong said in a statement. If one includes projects at the Ho Man Tin MTR station, the total estimated number of flats may hit 2,750.

Also read: Government to launch Starter Homes pilot project on Ma Tau Wai Road

"[T]he Government will, taking into account other land supply sources and market conditions, continue to put up for sale suitable private housing sites in the remaining two quarters to meet the annual target of providing land with a capacity to produce about 18,000 private units," he added.

The move comes as the government unveiled a series of initiatives to ease the housing crunch including a tax on properties that have been vacant or have not been rented out for more than half of the past 12 months as well as revising the affordability mechanism for the Home Ownership Scheme. 

Home ownership in space-starved Hong Kong has plunged below 50% in 2017 as the city’s runaway property prices have made it the most expensive housing market in the world for the eighth consecutive year.

Also read: Home prices up for 26th straight month in May

An average Hong Konger earning $50,000 in annual income would need around $900,000 to purchase a home, according to annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, which puts the median house prices divided by annual median household income at 18.1. 

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