Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Thursday, Jun 13, 2024

‘We won’t sell land at dirt cheap prices,’ Hong Kong’s finance chief says

‘We won’t sell land at dirt cheap prices,’ Hong Kong’s finance chief says

Financial Secretary Paul Chan reaffirms government’s commitment to land policy after year’s first sale of commercial plot fetches 35 per cent less than low end of valuation.

Authorities will not slash land prices but will equally seek to avoid rocketing valuations, Hong Kong’s finance chief has said, vowing to stick to the government’s goal of providing a sustainable and stable supply of housing.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po offered the reassurances on Saturday as he shrugged off the result of the government’s first land sale of the year where a prime commercial plot in Mong Kok was bought for HK$4.73 billion (US$602.5 million), or 35 per cent less than the low end of its valuation.

“We can say that the government does not have a high land price policy, which had drawn criticism in the past. But we won’t sell land at dirt cheap prices either,” he said in a televised interview.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan at a press conference after unveiling his budget last month.


“For every tender, the Lands Department assigns a professional group of surveyors to make an independent evaluation of the site and set an undisclosed reserve price for the tender … So we have a very stringent tendering system for land sales.”

Sun Hung Kai Properties beat two other bidders to secure the tender for the 11,537 square metre (124,183 sq ft) site located north of Argyle Street and east of Sai Yee Street.

The sale came after the government withdrew three previous sites from sale in just over a month because of insufficient bids amid a downbeat market and high interest rates.

Market observers were left to wonder what the lower-than-expected sale indicated about future government land sales.

Chan pointed out the Mong Kok site was not purely a commercial project as the developer was also required to provide additional facilities including a transport interchange, a youth centre and a home for the elderly.

He emphasised the government’s goal of providing a stable supply of land and housing for commercial and residential developments remained unchanged despite tender prices being affected by market fluctuations on some occasions.

“We won’t change our land sale plans because of a short-term market fluctuation. We will make careful assessments, but we are determined to provide a sustainable and stable supply of land and housing for society,” he said.

The finance chief earlier said the government planned to place 18 more plots – 12 residential, three commercial and three industrial – on the market this financial year, contributing to a projected HK$85 billion in land premium income.

Weighing in on another hot land topic, Chan Kin-por, a member of key decision-making body the Executive Council, defended the construction of three artificial islands at Kau Yi Chau which are expected to cost HK$580 billion as part of the government’s mega “Lantau Tomorrow Vision” project.

Kau Yi Chau, in the waters off Lantau, is where the government will construct three artificial islands.


The ambitious initiative, which is now under public consultation until the end of March, aims to reclaim 1,000 hectares (2,471 acres) of land during its first phase and build 210,000 flats over the next two decades off the coast of Hong Kong’s Lantau Island to serve as a third business district.

Chan Kin-por said the reclamation was necessary and the fastest way for the government to build its own land bank for the city’s future development.

“The project will reclaim 1,000 hectares of land, so this is very important for the government to build its own land reserve, without which we cannot do anything to push for Hong Kong’s development,” he told a radio programme.

“Land reclamation is the fastest way to create land supply as other methods such as the resumption of brownfield sites or farmland will take a long time and involve complex matters such as relocation, compensation and even lawsuits.”

Brownfield sites refer mainly to agricultural land in the New Territories now occupied by warehouses for industrial, storage, logistics or parking use.

Chan also dismissed concerns about the project’s financial viability, saying the work would span 20 years, costing HK$30 billion a year. He suggested the government adopt a public-private partnership model to resolve the project’s financing.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
0:00
0:00
Close
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
×