LCQ15: Implementation of the "Hong Kong Property for Hong Kong People" measure
Following is a question by the Dr Hon Yiu Chung-yim and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Eric Ma, in the Legislative Council today (May 10):
In their reply on the 12th of last month to a question raised by a Member of this Council, the authorities pointed out that, under the "Hong Kong Property for Hong Kong People" (HKP-HKP) measure, the relevant land leases contained the Special Condition No. (16)(a) which restricted alienation of any residential units by buyers (i.e. the developer and each subsequent owner) before the expiry of a period of 30 years from the date of the land leases except with the prior written consent (consent) of the Director of Lands (the Director). One of the restrictions in the consent is that the residential units concerned must be sold to holders of a valid Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card. On the other hand, according to the information on the website of the Lands Department, the Director has the right to agree with or refuse the granting of the consent, and impose any additional terms and conditions for the consent, if granted. Moreover, the Director has the right to revise from time to time the relevant forms for making the required statutory declarations by buyers about their Hong Kong Permanent Resident (HKPR) status. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the legal provisions and mechanisms based on which the authorities draw up the contents of the aforesaid consent and forms;
(2) of the mechanisms and justifications based on which the Director will impose additional terms and conditions for the consent and revise the forms from time to time;
(3) given that under special circumstances, there may be genuine needs for residential units subject to the HKP-HKP measure to be held by non-HKPR(s), and the Director will consider, according to the individual circumstances of each application, the granting of a special consent to permit the relevant residential unit to be held by non-HKPR(s), whether the Director has so far granted any special consent to the buyers of the first HKP-HKP project in Kai Tak; if so, of the number of such consents granted; and
(4) whether it has assessed where the owner of a residential unit subject to the HKP-HKP measure has alienated the unit to a non-HKPR buyer without obtaining prior consent from the Director, if the relevant Sale and Purchase Agreement may be enforced under section 41 of the Conveyancing and Property Ordinance (Cap. 219), and of the legal provisions and procedure based on which the Government may terminate the alienation and deal with the ownership of the property in question?
The policy objective of the "Hong Kong Property for Hong Kong People" measure (HKPHKP measure) is to accord priority to Hong Kong Permanent Residents (HKPRs) in making use of our scarce residential land resources in the midst of a tight demand-supply situation in the property market. When announcing the implementation details of the HKPHKP measure in March 2013, the Government made clear that the restriction on sale to HKPRs only would be applied to individual suitable sites through land lease conditions.
I reply to four parts of the question as follows:
(1) Special Condition No. 16(a) of the lease that is subject to the HKPHKP measure restricts alienation of any residential unit by the Purchaser (i.e. the developer and each subsequent owner) before the expiry of a period of 30 years from the date of the lease except with the prior written consent of the Director of Lands and compliance with any conditions imposed by him. The contents of the Consent Letter and the statutory declaration in the prescribed forms are formulated to ensure that residential units are sold to HKPRs.
(2) The main requirements under the HKPHKP measure are set out on the Lands Department's website on the HKPHKP measure (www.landsd.gov.hk/en/hkpp/hkpp.htm). Conditions to be imposed under the Consent Letter depend on the type of consent being applied for and the situation of each individual case. The requirement of making a statutory declaration in the prescribed forms attached to the Consent Letter is stipulated under the Consent Letter. The prescribed forms already attached to the Consent Letter will not be revised; however, the Director of Lands may from time to time revise the prescribed forms of statutory declaration for future applications for consent.
(3) The relevant residential development is still at the pre-sale stage. The Director of Lands has not received any application for Special Consent.
(4) The Consent Letter is issued in accordance with the lease conditions. Hence, a breach of the conditions of the Consent Letter means that a valid consent has not been obtained in accordance with the lease conditions. The Lands Department will consider taking appropriate lease enforcement actions, including vesting the interest in the relevant residential units in The Financial Secretary Incorporated in accordance with the Government Rights (Re-entry and Vesting Remedies) Ordinance.
Ends/Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Issued at HKT 14:30