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LCQ7: Statistics on households and residential properties
     Following is a question by the Hon Wilson Or Chong-shing and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Mr Frank Chan Fan, in the Legislative Council today (October 25):

Regarding the statistics on households and residential properties, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the current number of households across the territory, as well as the number and vacancy rate of residential units;
(2) of the respective numbers of households currently residing in (i)  owner-occupier private housing units, (ii) owner-occupier subsidised sale flats, (iii) public rental housing units, and (iv) private rental housing units;
(3) among the households currently residing in private rental housing units, of the respective numbers of those who are (i) sole tenants, (ii) co-tenants, and (iii) tenants in units provided by their employers;
(4) of the number of private housing units in respect of which mortgage loans are outstanding and/or which are used as collaterals for loans, and among them, the respective numbers of those which (i) are negative-equity properties, (ii) involve second mortgage but not third mortgage loans, and (iii) involve third mortgage loans; and
(5) among the private housing units in respect of which mortgage loans are outstanding and/or which are used as collaterals for loans, of the respective (i) numbers, (ii) average loan-to-value ratios and (iii) average loan amounts, of the units in respect of which the relevant loans are made by authorised institutions specified under the Banking Ordinance (Cap 155) and by other financial institutions respectively?

     Having gathered information from the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the Rating and Valuation Department (RVD), the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) and the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS), a consolidated reply to various parts of the question raised by the Hon Wilson Or is as follows:
(1) and (2) In terms of public housing, based on the results of the General Household Survey conducted by the C&SD in the second quarter of 2017, there were about 774 500 households living in public rental housing (PRH) (Note 1) and 380 800 households living in subsidised sale flats (SSFs) (Note 2). According to the records of HA and HKHS, there were about 808 800 PRH units (Note 1) and 403 200 SSFs (Note 3) as at the second quarter of 2017. 
     The number of lettable PRH units under HA is about 767 700 and the vacancy rate is about 0.4 per cent (Note 4). We do not have information on the vacancy rate of SSFs.
     For private housing, according to the General Household Survey mentioned above, the number of households residing in owner-occupied and rented private sector housing (Note 5) were about 867 300 and 508 600 respectively. In terms of the number of units, according to the "Hong Kong Property Review 2017" published by RVD in April 2017, the stock of private residential units (Note 6) was about 1 158 800 as at end-2016. The vacancy rate was about 3.8 per cent.
(3) Among the households residing in rented private housing mentioned above, about 405 200 were sole tenants, about 10 000 were co-tenants (including main tenants and sub-tenants); about 40 200 were households with accommodation provided by employers; and the remaining 53 200 were rent-free households.
(4) and (5) According to the information obtained from the 20 major banks by the HKMA, as at end-August, 2017, there were 520 000 outstanding residential mortgage loans involving private housing (Note 7) from these institutions, with the outstanding loan amount valued at $1,180 billion, i.e. on average about $2.3 million per case. The HKMA does not have information on the average loan-to-value ratio and the number of units involved in each of the above cases.
     Out of the 520 000 cases above, about 13 000 involved multiple mortgage loans, i.e. apart from the mortgage loans approved by the banks, other lending institutions have also provided mortgage loans for the properties concerned. The HKMA has not collected information on the further breakdown of the number of multiple mortgage loans involving second or third mortgage loans.
     The HKMA has also conducted regular surveys with the 20 banks mentioned above to estimate the position of negative equity in the banking sector. According to HKMA's projection, there were no mortgage loans in negative equity as at end-June, 2017. It should be noted that the figures derived from the survey relate only to mortgage loans provided by banks on the basis of first mortgages and which the banks know to be in negative equity. Not included in these figures are mortgage loans associated with co-financing schemes which would be in negative equity if the second mortgages were taken into account.

Note 1: Including (i) PRH units and interim housing units under the HA and (ii) rental flats and Senior Citizen Residences Scheme flats under the HKHS.

Note 2: Including (i) HA's Home Ownership Scheme (HOS), Private Sector Participation Scheme (PSPS), Middle Income Housing Scheme (MIHS), Buy or Rent Option Scheme (BRO), Mortgage Subsidy Scheme (MSS) and Tenants Purchase Scheme (TPS) flats sold with premium not yet paid; (ii) HKHS' Flats-for-Sale Scheme (FFSS), Sandwich Class Housing (SCH) and Subsidised Sale Flats Projects (SSFP) flats sold with premium not yet paid; and (iii) flats under the Subsidised Sale Flats Scheme of the Urban Renewal Authority (URA).

Note 3: Including (i) HA's HOS/PSPS/MIHS/BRO/MSS/Green Form Subsidised Home Ownership Pilot Scheme (GSH)/TPS flats sold with premium not yet paid and 65 unsold HOS and GSH flats arising from rescinded cases, as well as (ii) HKHS' FFSS/SCH/SSFP flats sold with premium not yet paid; but excluding those flats sold by the HA and HKHS but not yet completed and the 322 flats provided by URA on a one-off basis in 2015/16.

Note 4: Vacancy rate refers to the percentage of lettable vacant units (excluding those units which have been offered for PRH applicants' consideration and are expected to be let out in the short term) out of the total lettable PRH stock.

Note 5: According to the "Quarterly Report on General Household Survey" published by the C&SD, private sector housing includes temporary housing and private permanent housing, of which the latter includes (i) all private residential flats (including all flats and apartments in multi-storey blocks or houses built by the private sector mainly for residential purpose and all former SSFs (i.e. those free of alienation restrictions)); (ii) villas/bungalows/modern village houses; (iii) simple stone structures/traditional village houses; and (iv) all units of staff quarters.

Note 6: According to the "Hong Kong Property Review 2017", the term private residential units is defined as independent dwellings with separate cooking facilities and bathroom (and/or lavatory). It does not include village houses, rental estates built by the HA and HKHS, units sold under TPS, SSFs and Government-owned quarters.

Note 7: Not including SSFs and flats sold under TPS.
Ends/Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Issued at HKT 13:00
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