Opening remarks of SDEV on land sale programme from October to December 2015

Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, at a media session on the land sale programme from October to December 2015 today (September 30):

In the coming quarter, the private housing land supply will be from three major sources: government land sale, railway property development projects and projects of the Urban Renewal Authority (URA). It is estimated that they have a capacity of providing about 4,840 units in total.

The Government will sell by tender four residential sites, which will have a total capacity of producing about 2,850 flats. Among the four residential sites, three are located in Tai Po and one in Tuen Mun.

The MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) plans to tender Package 9 of LOHAS Park, which is estimated to have a capacity of producing about 1,700 units.

The URA will also invite tenders for two projects, one in Sham Shui Po and the other in Ma Tau Kok. The two projects together will have a capacity for producing about 285 flats.

I would also like to take this opportunity to give you an overview of the private housing land supply situation in the first three quarters of the year.

In the first and second quarters of the current financial year, the Government has put up for sale five and four residential sites respectively, which together could provide about 5,760 flats. During the same period, there were three other sources of land supply, namely railway projects by the MTRCL, including LOHAS Park Package 7 and Package 8. The other is the West Rail Yuen Long Station project. These three railway projects together have a capacity of producing 4,560 flats.

In the past two quarters, the URA also successfully tendered two projects, one in Ma Tau Kok and the other in Shau Kei Wan. Together they can produce about 280 flats.

As at the end of August, private development or redevelopment projects are estimated to have a capacity of producing 1,260 units.

Combining all these, the first two quarters in the current financial year had a land supply of producing about 11,860 units. Together with the estimated flat production capacity of 4,840 flats from the government land sale sites, the MTRCL project and the URA projects in the third quarter as I mentioned earlier, the private housing land supply in the first three quarters of the current financial year is estimated to have a total capacity of producing about 16,700 units, which is about 88 per cent of our annual target of 19,000 flats.

Apart from government land sale, the Government has been increasing the supply of commercial floor space through multiple channels. As mentioned in the 2015-16 Budget Speech, the Government will relocate some government offices away from core business districts to other areas. This will not only release valuable sites for commercial use, but also generate more economic activities and employment opportunities.

In this respect, the government office space in the Trade and Industry Department Tower in Mong Kok will be released for commercial use after the departments therein have been moved to the Kai Tak Development Area later this year. The Government Property Agency plans to invite tenders before the end of this year for the government property at the Tower, providing about 26,400 square metres of gross floor area, so as to meet the market's keen demand for commercial floor space.

And same as the last quarter, subject to market conditions, as well as the progress of rezoning and other preparatory work, the Government may put up additional residential, commercial or business sites for sale within the third quarter.

We are determined to provide the market with stable and sustained land supply. At the same time, we will keep a close monitoring of the market situation.

Thank you.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the opening remarks.)

Ends/Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Issued at HKT 19:41