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SDEV speaks to the media

Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Development, Mr Eric Ma, at a media session after attending a radio programme today (February 25):

Reporter: Mr Ma, any considerations on whether the Government is going to change the way of how it sells its land from tendering to auction, given that you can see quite a number of land plots were sold at quite high prices? Just to boost the transparency of the sales.

Secretary for Development: First, currently, we are basically using two ways for sale of land, one is by auction, and another is by tender. Both options are open and transparent and they have been used for a long time. We have been using tendering since 2013 after we cancelled the application mechanism. The process itself depends on the land plots and various conditions of the land tender. Both options are open and we will look into the use of different options for individual plots. Tendering of land sale is the current mode that we are adopting. Just for your reference, the other developments, just like MTR (Mass Transit Railway) projects and URA (Urban Renewal Authority) projects, they have been using the tendering process for a long time. Both processes are open and transparent. I don’t see any differences between the two.

Reporter: At what point will the Government consider setting restrictions on "nano flats" on developers to prevent them from developing really small micro flats?

Secretary for Development: I think small flat is mainly a special need arising from the demand. Buyers would like to have less burden on their finance. As I have just quoted the completion figures for 2016, we can see the number of flats with saleable area of less than 40 square metres, just roughly about 400 feet, are about 27 per cent of the whole housing stock. The majority is still between 40 square metres to 70 square metres, which constitutes about 47 per cent or 48 per cent, which is roughly about half of the supply. So, we see that there is still a balance between various sizes. At the moment, we will closely observe the situation. If necessary, we can introduce measures.
tion of the transcript.)

Ends/Saturday, February 25, 2017
Issued at HKT 13:13