Call to build more housing
LEGISLATORS said the Government should build more flats.
United Democrat legislator Cheung Man-kwong said more homes were needed for the sandwich class in order to free the market from the monopoly of a handful of major developers.
He said the Government could not just simply supply more land because developers, with huge capital, could hoard a great amount of flats and push up prices.
Mr Cheung said the administration should go one step further by building more flats itself through the sandwich-class loan scheme and the proposed sandwich-class home ownership scheme.
''Property prices keep going up, and developers will hoard flats to make more money,'' he said.
Although there was no cartel established by the developers to monopolise the market, Mr Cheung said the developers had formed a ''league'' which shared the same interests.
Liberal Party legislator Henry Tang Ying-yen agreed that the Government should build more flats.
He said the Singapore model of building better-quality flats, of about 1,000 square feet, to cater for the middle class should be adopted.
Mr Tang said he was not suggesting the Government build 30,000 or 40,000 flats a year to compete with private developers.
Even a few thousand flats could provide a good supply for the sandwich class.
Provision of such housing could also cool speculators because a constant supply from the Government on top of that provided by private developers, would change the expectation that prices would continue to go up.
Beijing's think-tank on the formation of the post-1997 government, the Preliminary Working Committee has expressed concern over Chinese-funded companies' involvement in property speculation.