SDEV speaks to media on quarterly land sale programme for July to September 2016

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, at the question-and-answer session of the media session today (June 29) on the quarterly land sale programme for July to September 2016:

Reporter: The response to the land sale programme recently has not been very keen. Do you expect this trend to continue? Is the Government confident that the housing target is still achievable?

Secretary for Development: I do not agree that the reception of the recent land sale has not been keen. In fact, for each site we put up for sale, we have received multiple bids. The reduction in land premium is expected as we have explained before. When the property price is going through downward adjustment, the adjustment in land premium is even faster. That is within our expectation. As I have said earlier, we had two sites suffering tender failure last year. And this year one of the sites was successfully awarded. The other one will be put up for sale in the next quarter. We are cautiously optimistic that this site will be able to be awarded successfully. We are still very confident about meeting the land supply target this year for private housing.

Reporter: How would you evaluate the risk of bid withdrawal given the economic uncertainties resulting from Brexit and other financial turmoil? And do you think the entry price will be lowered accordingly if the property market is adversely impacted?

Secretary for Development: At the moment, we do not see any significant negative impact of Brexit on Hong Kong's property prices. Factors affecting Hong Kong's property prices are firstly demand and supply and secondly a number of external factors, namely interest rates, the economic situations in the US, Europe, Mainland China and, particularly, the economic situation and employment situation in Hong Kong. So I think for the moment we have to remain calm and carefully assess the various situations as they turn out. At the moment, I think it is important for the Government to have determination to supply private residential land to the market on a stable and sustained basis, so that Hong Kong people and market players will not misinterpret the Government's determination in maintaining a healthy property market for our people.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Issued at HKT 19:38