Hong Kong Chief of Finance Paul Chan has vowed to be tough on property developers who hoard flats. In order to eliminate or stop various developers who tend to hoard flats, Chan has promised to come up with stringent measures to tackle this vice for good. He has promised to uplift the issues of housing and land and ensure that the scarce and expensive Hong Kong property market is in the top level of government.
While speaking on Wednesday during a Hong Kong press conference where he read out the budget speech, Finance Secretary Paul Chan asserted that the administration is aligning measures towards dealing with detrimental sales tactics which are being applied by some developers. Among the tactics sellers use include the need to have buyers stake an offer for flats instead of buyers giving a price per square flat, a tactic Chan said is undesirable. Chan said that the housing and land is a key topic that touches a number of citizens and therefore these issue will need to be dealt with by the top government for a more enhanced and successful resolution.
The Finance Secretary said that there is a rise in properties that have been completed but not sold and the government is doing what it takes improve housing supply. “It is our commitment to bring a timely supply of housing to the market,” Chan said. As of September 2017, Unsold flats had reached 9000 in private developments. Among these, 4,000 were developed in 2017 which caters for 31% of the total unsold finished Hong Kong flats in the year. This is a substantial increase compared to 2,000 flats completed in 2016 and 1,000 completed in 2015. During his speech he said that the private sector is expected to increase the number of flats to 104,000 in the coming four years which is a 50% increase from the preceding years.
Chan gave an instance where a developer finished three hundred flats gave out just out just two for offer and hoarded the rest. He said the government is looking into sales tactics where developers sell to however pays more which is undesirable. These sales tactics have come under immense condemnation in the past years with observers claiming that developers hike property prices by selling those with the highest bids without giving a price of each square foot.
In 2013, an Authority was commissioned to help regulate developer’s sales tactics although the Authority has been highly criticized for not effectively curbing these sales vices. According to a survey conducted, it found Honk Kong as having expensive housing. Prices of private homes have increased by 445% since 2003 and people are placed on the waiting list for about five years before they get a house.