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Helping the middle class to buy homes

Yesterday, the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) and the Hong Kong Housing Society (HS) separately put up new subsidised housing units for sale. I took the time to visit the HA Customer Service Centre in Lok Fu today to see for myself the public's response to these projects.

The two Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) estates put up for pre-sale by the HA are Ping Yan Court in Ping Shan and Ka Shun Court in Sha Tin. The two estates, together with the HS' Greenhill Villa in Sha Tin, provide a total of about 3 700 flats. To facilitate eligible applicants, only one form is required to be filled in for applying for flats in all three estates, and only one round of vetting will be conducted.

This afternoon, the Centre in Lok Fu was packed with people getting hold of application forms and sales brochures. Many of them told me that the prices of the HOS units were reasonable, the layouts practical and the locations convenient. Some of them made the trip there to obtain application forms for their children and grandchildren. As the subsidised sale flats were of lower prices, they hoped that these projects could help the younger generation buy their first property early.

The current-term Government has stepped up efforts to increase land and housing supply to meet public demands. When the first batch of units under the relaunched HOS was put up for sale in December 2014, the response was enthusiastic and the 2 160 units were oversubscribed by 62 times. This shows that subsidised sale flats are much welcomed by the public. As announced last month in my Policy Address, the HA and the HS will provide about 20 400 subsidised sale flats in the coming five years. Apart from the three estates put on the market this time, another batch of about 2 600 units will be put up for pre-sale in 2017.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government will persist with its efforts to increase land supply and provide the public with more subsidised sale flats at less than market price.

Photo   Photo

February 23, 2016