$9b projected from 34 land sales
By KENNETH KO
THE Government expects to get $9.34 billion from public sales of 34 plots of Crown land in the current financial year.
The projected revenue represents a 18.8 per cent drop from last year's $11.5 billion because this year less land is being put up for sale. A total 24.93 hectares will be sold this year, compared with 29.67 hectares in the last financial year.
Principal government land agent Bob Pope said this year's offer included 18.3 hectares for commercial, commercial-residential and residential use - which could produce some 11,500 flats - and 3.91 hectares for industrial use.
He said the Government was conscious of the demand in the property market and was keen to ensure that sufficient flats would be produced from land sales to keep property prices stable.
Despite expected reduced revenues, the Government could see a substantial increase in revenue from compensation premiums for land exchanges and lease modifications.
Mr Pope said an estimated $9.87 billion might be collected from land exchanges and lease modifications for private developments, which were expected to produce about 10,000 flats.
In the last financial year, revenue from land exchanges and modifications was $4.26 billion.
The Government also estimates that land leased through private treaty grants, including the delayed grant of the Container Terminal 9 site, could fetch about $5.05 billion.
According to government estimates, total revenue from land sales, private treaty grants and land exchanges or modifications could reach $24.27 billion, which would be 47 per cent more than last year's $16.43 billion.
The land sales programme include 14 residential sites, three commercial-residential sites, four office sites and nine industrial-godown sites.
Twenty-four plots will be sold at public auctions. Six sites will be offered for Letter A or Letter B land exchange entitlement tenders.
Four sites will be sold by cash tenders, including a 15,700-square metre site in Fanling for the Private Sector Participation Scheme, which would produce 1,459 flats for the Home Ownership Scheme.
The first land auction this financial year will be held on June 22, with two industrial sites and one residential site on offer.
The largest plot to be offered this year, a 42,500-sq m residential site at Lung Ping Road in Kowloon, will be auctioned in December.
Analysts estimated that the site, with a potential floor area of 127,500 sq m, could bring a record $4 billion or more.
Three under-utilised government office building sites with a total area of 1.58 hectares will be sold: a 7,500-sq m residential site in Farm Road, a 2,664-sq m commercial site in King's Road and a 5,660 commercial-residential site in Tong Yan Street.
They used to be, respectively, an office of the Highways Department, a store used by the Information Services Department and the Kwun Tong district office.