Date
16 December 2017
Leung Chun-ying is blaming the housing problem on the previous administration which he says failed to foresee demand after the 1998 Asian financial crisis. Photo: HKEJ
Leung Chun-ying is blaming the housing problem on the previous administration which he says failed to foresee demand after the 1998 Asian financial crisis. Photo: HKEJ

Observers: Leung missed chance to address housing woes

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying failed to offer concrete measures to solve Hong Kong’s housing problem in his policy address on Wednesday, according to market observers.

Unless the government increases land supply, home prices will continue to rise, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Thursday, citing academics and industry sources.  

Leung blamed the housing problem on short-sightedness by the previous administration which he accused of failing to foresee demand for residential developments after the 1998 Asian financial crisis. 

He said Hong Kong has plenty of land but lacks planning, adding that increased opposition to land development has wasted time and exacerbated uncertainty in the property market.

Some market sources expect housing prices to continue to rise in the next two years, with a potential increase of at least 10 percent this year as most new homes under construction will not come on stream for another three to five years, the report said.

Lawmaker Jeffrey Lam said the best way to increase land supply is to release land reserved for green use for residential development.

He urged environmental concern groups and political parties to support the change.

Green Peace, Friends of the Earth (Hong Kong) and other environment groups accused Leung of playing off both sides of the issue.

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VW/JP/RA

Freelance journalist

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