The Government announced today (March 4) the 2005-06 Application List for the sale of Government land from April, 2005, to March, 2006.
Speaking at a media conference to announce the new 2005-06 Application List, the Director of Lands, Mr Patrick Lau, said that in line with the Government's stated housing policy, land supply shall be determined by market demand. "On this basis, the Government has decided to continue to make land available to the market mainly through the Application List System," Mr Lau said.
"In view of the good auction results and the market demand, more land is included and greater choices in terms of size, location and variety of uses are provided in the new 2005-06 Application List. In addition, the 11 sites remaining unsold in the 2004-05 Application List are rolled over in the new List for 2005-06."
The 2005-06 Application List comprises 35 sites. They include 29 residential sites and six commercial/business sites. The residential sites, with a total area of about 22.1 hectares, can produce 11,000 flats. Ten of the residential sites are located on Hong Kong Island, eight in Kowloon and 11 in the New Territories. The six commercial/business sites, with a total area of about 4.7412 hectares, are located in Central, Kowloon Bay, Tsuen Wan, Tin Shui Wai and Sai Kung. Four of the six sites may also be developed for hotel use readily, and the remaining two may also be allowed for hotel use subject to planning permission.
"The 2005-06 Application List comprises sites of different sizes and uses. The majority (24 out of 35) of the sites are relatively small (less than one hectare in size) and should be attractive to small and medium size developers. To provide variety, the List contains five residential sites suitable for super deluxe developments," Mr Lau said.
"The timing for launching sale of the sites in the new Application List is also quite evenly staggered. This is conducive to a steady take-up rate of these sites by the market and stabilising the supply of new units to the market. In this respect, the 29 residential sites (if all sold) will produce some 11,000 flats. The earliest estimated completion date for these flats is 2008. This will ensure that there will be adequate flat supply to meet market demand in future," he said.
Mr Lau also announced a number of measures to improve the efficiency and transparency of the operation of the Application List System. These measures are:
(a) To simplify the deposit requirement by applying a simple rate of 10% of the bid price of the site, with the deposit subject to a maximum of $50 million.
(b) To require the formal Agreement with deposit to be submitted together with the initial application to trigger a site (thus achieving a saving of two weeks).
(c) To shorten the period of public notice from three weeks to two.
(d) To announce, on a monthly and site specific basis, the number of unsuccessful applications on Lands Department's web site.
Mr Lau said the objectives of introducing these measures were to improve the transparency and efficiency of the Application List system. "We hope that the measures will speed up the triggering-to-sale process."
Under the Application List System, developers interested in any of the sites on the Application List may submit an application to Government for consideration. The applicant must offer a minimum price to purchase the site and pay a deposit. If the price offered by the applicant is in line with Government's assessment of the open market value of the site concerned, the site will be put up for sale by open tender or auction.
"The Application List system is market driven. It enables the market to determine flexibly the quantity and timing of land to be put up for sale. Sites successfully triggered for sale will be sold through auction or tender. In this respect, Government will realise optimum proceeds through competitive bidding which will reflect the most optimal use of the sites and open market value of the sites," Mr Lau added.
The 2005-06 Application List together with the new Explanatory Note, Application Form and Agreement as well as the new Practice Note can also be viewed and downloaded at the Lands Department's web site http://www.info.gov.hk/landsd
Ends/Friday, March 4, 2005