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Budget Speech

Residential Land Supply

113.    In this financial year, Government put up for sale 36 residential sites capable of providing about 14 000 private residential units, a record high since 2000-01.  Together with other development projects, the total housing land supply from different sources will be capable of providing about 18 000 private residential units, falling short of the original annual average target of 20 000 units, mainly due to slower than expected progress in railway property development projects, projects of the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) and projects subject to lease modification/land exchange.  Taking into account the private residential developments which have started or will start on disposed sites, together with other unsold units of completed projects, about 71 000 private residential units are estimated to be available for sale in the next three to four years.

114.    So far we have identified 150 sites for residential use which, if their statutory plans could all be successfully amended, are expected to be made available over the next five years to provide about 210 000 public and private units.  The 2014-15 Land Sale Programme will include 34 residential sites capable of providing about 15 500 units in total.  Among these sites, 24 are new ones.  Taking into account the housing land supply from different sources, we expect that the average annual target of land supply for private housing can be met in the coming financial year.  The Secretary for Development will announce tomorrow the Land Sale Programme for the coming year.

115.    Public housing takes up 60 per cent of the new housing target.  To achieve the new target on the provision of public rental housing flats and Home Ownership Scheme flats, Government is fully committed to supplying additional sites to the Housing Authority.  Apart from adequate supply of land and manpower resources, we have to ensure that there will be sufficient funding for the Housing Authority as well.

116.    The Housing Authority will have an estimated balance of $68 billion at the end of this financial year.  The sum can meet the funding requirement of the development programme for the next four years.  However, to achieve the new housing production target, the Housing Authority must keep enhancing cost-effectiveness and sustainability of modus operandi in the long run.  I hope that it will conclude the assessment next year on additional financial resources needed for the next ten years after consolidating revenue increases and cost savings.  This will facilitate its discussions with Government on a feasible long-term financial arrangement.



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