The 2017-18 Budget
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Budget Speech

Land Resources

152.    Increasing land and housing supply is one of the priorities of the Government.  Our work not only involves the technical process of land identification and development, but also the balancing of various needs and expectations of stakeholders.  This is not an easy task.  On the one hand, the Government has to continue its endeavour to increase land supply on all fronts to meet the housing, economic and social development needs of Hong Kong.  On the other hand, it is necessary for us to build up a land reserve to meet future demand in a timely manner.

Housing Land

153.    On housing land, as at end 2016, the projected supply from the first-hand private residential property market in the next three to four years will be approximately 94 000 units, a record high since the first release of quarterly supply statistics in September 2004.  Based on the preliminary assessment of private residential developments known to have started or to be started on disposed sites, the private sector will, on average, produce about 20 300 private residential units each year in the next five years, representing an increase of about 70 per cent over the yearly average in the past five years.  As regards public housing supply, for the five-year period from 2016-17 to 2020-21, estimated public housing production by the Hong Kong Housing Authority and the Hong Kong Housing Society will be about 94 500 units, including about 71 800 public rental housing units and about 22 600 subsidised sale flats.

154.    The 2017-18 Land Sale Programme comprises a total of 28 residential sites, including 20 new sites, capable of providing about 19 000 residential units.  Taking into account railway property development projects, the URA's projects and private redevelopment and development projects, we estimate that the potential land supply for private housing in 2017-18 will have a capacity to produce about 32 000 units.  The Secretary for Development will announce tomorrow the Land Sale Programme for the next financial year.

155.    To achieve the ten-year housing supply target, we must address the shortfall in land supply for public housing development.  Through the Steering Committee on Land Supply, I will co-ordinate and supervise the work on land supply with a view to narrowing the difference as soon as possible in order that applicants who are waiting for public rental housing can be housed earlier.  Once again, I call on the relevant District Councils, local communities and LegCo members to support the rezoning of various sites for housing use in the overall interests of the community, so that people who are yearning for a residential flat can secure one at the earliest possible time.

Commercial/Industrial Land

156.    To maintain Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre, we have to ensure a continued supply of office space, especially Grade A office space.  At the same time, we need to provide space which is more flexible and affordable for industrial and commercial operation, to facilitate the development of different trades in Hong Kong.

157.    The Government will continue to increase land supply for different economic activities through various measures in order to sustain our competitiveness.  From 2012-13 to 2016-17, a total of 23 sites for commercial/industrial use have been sold/will be put up for sale, capable of providing about 1.02 million square metres of floor area, representing an increase of about 1.8 times compared with the previous five years.  In the same period, the Government sold three hotel sites, capable of providing some 1 900 hotel rooms.

158.    The Land Sale Programme for the coming financial year includes three commercial/business sites and one hotel site, capable of providing about 172 000 square metres of floor area and some 550 hotel rooms respectively.

159.    The Government will continue to increase the supply of commercial floor area through various means.  Apart from approximately 560 000 square metres of commercial/office floor area to be released through reprovisioning the existing government facilities in the two action areas in Kwun Tong and Kowloon Bay, a number of large commercial sites will be made available to the market in the next few years.  They include the Queensway Plaza site, the site on top of the terminus of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (Hong Kong Section), Site 3 of the new Central Harbourfront, the Caroline Hill Road site, the Sai Yee Street site and various sites in Kai Tak, capable of providing a total of about 1.1 million square metres of floor area.

Long-term Development

160.    While carrying out large-scale new land development and building up a land reserve, we need to formulate a comprehensive development strategy for meeting various challenges, especially those posed by our ageing population, ageing building stock and a shrinking workforce.  The Development Bureau and the Planning Department are conducting public engagement for "Hong Kong 2030+: Towards a Planning Vision and Strategy Transcending 2030" ("Hong Kong 2030+"), which has put forward a number of policy directives and recommendations.  The aim is to formulate long-term planning for Hong Kong's sustainable development and create sufficient development and environment capacity for meeting future land resources demand and conserving our natural assets.  The public engagement exercise of "Hong Kong 2030+" will last until the end of April this year.  I hope all sectors of the community will contribute to this exercise and offer your valuable views with empathy and with a view to forging a consensus for the betterment of Hong Kong.



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Last revision date : 22 February 2017