Hong Kong to build yet more properties

In a bid to curb record property price rises Hong Kong’s government has announced it will supply land for the construction of 3,000 new apartments in the coming quarter.

Asia’s financial powerhouse has seen house prices explode in 2012, with record rises of 20 percent over the last 12 months. Earlier this week the government revealed plans to tender six plots of residential land for the creation of 3,000 apartments.

Hong Kong has done much over the past couple of years to curb its red-hot property market, which has outpriced many local residents. Measures have included increasing stamp duty for short-term transactions, taxing international buyers and increasing land supply.

Paul Chan, Hong Kong’s secretary for development stressed the government’s desire to increase the supply of housing saying that it had already sold 18 sites for 5,100 apartments in the first three quarters of the current fiscal year.

The latest move by the Hong Kong government follows stern advice from the International Monetary Fund that Hong Kong could be in the midst of a property bubble and needs to do more to calm the situation. The fund noted that half of the outstanding loans in the city are currently from the property sector, but added that the probability of a price correction large enough to generate major macroeconomic and financial consequences is “fairly low” in the short term.

Two of the six plots, which are to be supplied in the final quarter, are to be reserved for the apartments of local residents. “Given that land resources is a scarce commodity in Hong Kong, the priority is to always give the top priority to Hong Kong citizens,” Chan said.

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