RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Land shortage exceeds government estimate of 1,200 hectares

The government has identified 18 land supply options to plug the severe shortfall.

Hong Kong’s land shortage problem has grown worse than expected as the shortfall is actually greater than the 1,200 hectares initially estimated by the government, according to a press release. 

The final figure has yet to take into account the public aspiration for improvement in living space per person, additional required land for the provision of healthcare and elderly facilities and requirements for land reserve, said Task Force Chairman Stanley Wong.

"The Task Force has identified 18 land supply options which have the potential to provide additional land. Based on their estimated earliest possible time to deliver land, these options are grouped into short-to-medium term (four), medium-to-long term (six) and conceptual (eight),” Wong added.

Home ownership in Hong Kong has plunged below 50% which represents the lowest level since 1999 amidst a lack of affordable housing alternatives and skyrocketing rents that have made Hong Kong the world's most expensive housing market for the eighth year in a row.

Also read: Why property ownership is a pipe dream

Part of the government’s various land supply options includes a proposal to convert Fanling Golf Course into a housing development which could provide as much as 13,200 units. However, a partial option that will only develop the eastern section of Fan Kam Road can provide 4,600 flats.

“If the community selects to proceed with considering using the whole golf course, that would involve a substantial amount of technical studies before any of these options can be carried forward in the future,” cautioned Wong in an earlier statement.

Another proposal that has went under the review of the task force is one that seeks to develop the underperforming 65-hectare River Trade Terminal in Tuen Mun given that the utilisation rate was only 24% of its capacity and it handles 3% of the city’s total throughput. Developing the terminal into the housing estate could provide some 20,000 homes.

The government is similarly considering an option to plan housing developments above transport infrastructure such as roads and railways to Hong Kong’s perennial housing woes.

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