90 per cent of Hongkongers polled think home prices are too high

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 August, 2012, 3:36am

Ninety per cent of respondents to a survey said they find home prices too high, while those polled also had mixed feelings about Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's housing policy.

The poll, conducted by Chinese University's Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, asked 744 adults about three measures proposed by Leung: a ban on non-citizens buying property; speeding up construction of public-rental units; and allowing 5,000 middle-class families to buy second-hand Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) flats at a discount.

A majority - 61, 80 and 52 per cent respectively - backed those three measures. But when asked if they thought they would help solve the city's housing problems, the numbers were smaller.

The plan to accelerate public rental construction drew a 47 per cent "yes" vote, but the other two each drew about 20 per cent.

Asked if they thought Leung's policies would be enacted in his first term, only 21 per cent were confident about the rental-housing plan, and 14 per cent about the sale ban. The question was not asked about the HOS plan.

The institute's associate director, Dr Victor Zheng Wan-tai, said Leung's administration should be more transparent about the rental-housing scheme to raise its popularity. "It should provide more information about its progress, such as which districts have been identified as sites… and the timetable of implementation," he said.

Leung and his officials have been criticised for backtracking on the proposed sale ban, under which only locals would be allowed to buy flats at specific sites. Leung said the ban would take effect only if the market was overheated, a situation that did not exist at the moment.