The Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, announced today (February 28) the Government's 2013-14 Land Sale Programme, the sites to be initiated for sale in the first quarter of 2013-14, and the Government's decision to abolish the Application Mechanism.
Mr Chan said that since the introduction of Government-initiated Sale Mechanism in 2010, the Government has in practice resumed the lead in supplying government land. In fact, in 2011-12 and 2012-13, the Government has sold/will sell 51 residential sites in total. Among them, only three are triggered by developers, and 48 are initiated by the Government, exceeding 90%.
Mr Chan said, "Although the Government has resumed the lead in supplying government land, there are still concerns over land supply should developers choose not to trigger sites for sale. To address these concerns, the Government has decided to abolish the Application Mechanism from 2013-14."
"As before, the Government includes sites in the Land Sale Programme that the Government expects will be available for sale, and will continue to announce in advance on a quarterly basis the land sale programme. In other words, the Government will initiate the sale of all the sites taking into consideration market needs to ensure increasing land supply to the greatest extent," Mr Chan added.
The 2013-14 Land Sale Programme comprises 46 residential sites capable of providing about 13,600 flats, nine commercial/business sites and one hotel site which could provide about 330,000 square metres gross floor area and 300 hotel rooms respectively.
"In the 2013-14 Land Sale Programme, 28 of the 46 residential sites are new sites, while 18 sites are rolled over from the 2012-13 Land Sale Programme. The availability of this large number of new residential sites for sale well demonstrates the Government's determination to increase housing land supply. It also reflects the achievements made by the coordinated efforts of the relevant bureaux and departments under the steer of the Financial Secretary who chairs the Steering Committee on Housing Land Supply (which has recently been re-organised as the Steering Committee on Land Supply)," said Mr Chan.
"As set out by the Chief Executive in the 2013 Policy Address and the Financial Secretary in the 2013-14 Budget Speech, we will continue to adopt a multi-pronged approach to expand land resources and build up land reserve," Mr Chan added.
"To ensure the quantity of flat supply, we will continue to impose flat number restrictions on suitable sites having regard to site characteristics and market conditions," said Mr Chan.
For the first quarter of 2013-14, i.e. April to June 2013, the Government will tender seven residential sites, two in Tuen Mun, two in Tseung Kwan O, and one each in Ho Man Tin, Sha Tin and on Lantau Island, which could provide about 2,400 flats in total. A minimum flat number requirement will be imposed on the two Tseung Kwan O sites and one of the Tuen Mun sites to ensure quantity of flat supply. Coupled with the West Rail property development project at Long Ping Station (South) (about 720 flats) planned to be tendered in the same quarter, the eight residential sites could produce about 3,100 flats. In addition, one commercial site in Ma On Shan and the Murray Building hotel site situated in Central on Hong Kong Island will be tendered in the same quarter to meet the market demand. They could provide about 15,000 square metres of commercial gross floor area and 300 hotel rooms respectively.
Commenting on the supply of commercial/business sites, Mr Chan said that nine commercial/business sites are included in the 2013-14 Land Sale Programme, which could provide about 330,000 square metres of commercial gross floor area. However, government land sale is not the sole source of supply. More plans to increase supply are in the pipeline. Examples include the "Energising Kowloon East" initiative, converting government office buildings and "Government, Institution or Community" sites in Central and Wan Chai for commercial use, accelerating the development of the North Commercial District on Chep Lap Kok Airport Island, reviewing the planning of Kai Tak Development Area to increase office and housing supply, as well as continuing to encourage the revitalisation of industrial buildings and further relaxing certain restrictions on wholesale conversion, etc.
In 2012-13, through the sale of government sites, railway property development projects (not including the property development project at Tin Shui Wai Light Rail Terminus owned by the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL), the tender of which was unsuccessful), the Urban Renewal Authority's projects, projects subject to lease modification/land exchange and private redevelopment projects not subject to lease modification/land exchange, we are cautiously optimistic that the aggregate housing land supply could meet the target of being capable of producing about 20,000 private residential units.
Looking ahead, in the next financial year, railway property development projects will continue to be an important source of housing land supply. The West Rail sites at Long Ping Station (South) and Yuen Long Station, together with MTRCL's own sites in Tseung Kwan O and Tin Shui Wai Light Rail Terminus are estimated to provide a total of some 5,700 flats. Combining the various housing land supply sources mentioned above, the total housing land supply in the next financial year is estimated to have the capacity to produce about 25,800 flats.
The Development Bureau and relevant departments will continue their efforts on increasing land supply through a multi-pronged approach, and speed up the supply of new sites to the market in response to market needs.
"The Government abolishes the Application Mechanism and fully takes the lead in putting up government sites for sale. The Government will continue to announce in advance on a quarterly basis the land sale programme, providing transparency and certainty for the market," Mr Chan said in his concluding remarks.
The 2013-14 Land Sale Programme can be found on the Lands Department's website (www.landsd.gov.hk).
Ends/Thursday, February 28, 2013
Issued at HKT 23:15