Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Development, Mr Michael Wong, at a media session after attending the Construction Industry Council Graduation Ceremony 2017 today (November 17):
Reporter: Will these record-breaking tenders mean that property cooling measures are not working at all? Another separate question is about the relocation plan of Kwai Tsing Container Terminals. I know the plan is still in discussion now, but are there any examples of where these facilities can be relocated to in the future? How long do you expect this plan will take to execute?
Secretary for Development: For your first question, there are a couple of points that I would like to make. The Government would not comment on the tender results or the manner of which individual property developer has chosen to set the price. After all, that is a market decision. But for the average home buyer, we again issue a note of caution. Housing prices are really high at the moment. There are also possibilities that interest rate may go up. So, for all potential buyers, they will need to consider very carefully on whether they are able to afford the eventual monthly payment that they will have to make, especially in the event of an interest rate hike. That is something that they will need to consider very carefully.
I made a point earlier on during the announcement of the third quarter land sale programme. Although we have already reached the target of providing enough land for 18 000 private housing units, we have achieved that already, in the fourth quarter of this financial year, which is from January to March 2018, we will continue to make available sites for tender. For details of the specific sites or the number of units to be made available, we will announce at a press briefing in late December.
For the second question, the possibility of taking advantage of the current site of Kwai Tsing Container Terminals for other uses was discussed by the Task Force (Task Force on Land Supply) yesterday. At the moment, I would not make any speculation. As the Chairman of the Task Force, Mr Stanley Wong, said, there are many challenges associated with such a move, whether we are talking about in-situ development or relocation. Further studies will be necessary. The Task Force will engage the public in the second quarter of next year. There will be a lot of opinions and we have open ears, so any ideas that may be coming forward during that stage will be listened to very carefully.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Friday, November 17, 2017
Issued at HKT 14:28