HK leader-elect vows to address high housing costs

Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s newly elected Chief Executive, said that she is “very determined” to bring down the high prices of residential properties in the city...

Property cooling measures in Hong Kong have failed to lower housing prices, which remains a concern.

Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s newly elected Chief Executive, said on Tuesday (28 March) that she is “very determined” to bring down the high prices of residential properties in the city, which is one of the main issues facing expatriates working there, reported Reuters.

Lam, the former Chief Secretary of Hong Kong, was picked last Sunday (26 March) as the new leader of the special administrative region by a committee consisting of 1,200 individuals.

Her predecessor, outgoing Chief Executive Leung Chun-Ying, also placed great importance on reducing the high cost of housing by imposing property cooling measures. However, these have failed to lower residential prices, which remain out of reach for the average citizen.

During a Credit Suisse investment conference, Beijing-backed Lam said there are two “major bottlenecks” hindering the progress of Hong Kong, namely labour and land.

“On the land issue, I am very determined to tackle that in the next term of government in a big way,” she told a group of 200 entrepreneurs and financial professionals.

“It’s not just looking at the annual land sale programme but really, the long-term supply of land, or better still, a land bank for Hong Kong.” During her campaign, she previously promised to address this issue by providing more land for housing.

Furthermore, Lam noted that the former British colony is grappling with fiercer competition from its neighbours, especially mainland Chinese cities, which are “becoming very powerful”.

A report by TIME revealed that Lam will be sworn in as the fourth Chief Executive of Hong Kong on 1 July, which marks the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China. Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to attend the important event.

 

Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email romesh@propertyguru.com.sg