Hong Kong Housing

Nan Fung finds ways to reduce construction costs

Donald Choi says Nan Fung Development wants to systematise construction procedures to increase productivity. Photo: Thomas Yau

Facing soaring construction costs and falling property prices, Nan Fung Development has had to adopt new strategies to maintain its profit margins.

Wednesday, 2 April, 2014, 6:33am

You don’t need to own a flat to improve your living environment

Donald Choi remains cautious on bidding for land. Photo: Thomas Yau

Donald Choi Wun-hing worked in the well-known architecture firm Foster and Partners for eight years before he joined Nan Fung Development, where he is managing director.

2 Apr 2014 - 3:00am

Government should not forget Hong Kong’s middle class when increasing supply of flats

A flat at Kornhill in Quarry Bay costs at least HK$7.25 million. That is enough to buy three houses in London. Photo: SCMP

The Hong Kong government is going to build more subsidised public housing to help people with lower incomes. It is time to care about the sandwich class.

It is true that the government's cooling measures did help to curb property price increases since February last year.

4 Mar 2014 - 7:14am 2 comments

Key housing committee warns over rent controls, building on country parks

Wah Fu Estate in Po Fu Lam. The committee's report advised against building homes on country park land. Photo: Nora Tam

The government-appointed committee tasked with long-term planning for housing development in Hong Kong has expressed reservations about introducing rent controls and regulations for “subdivided flats” – and advised against using country park land for building homes.

17 Feb 2014 - 7:09pm 3 comments

Housing minister Anthony Cheung admits Hong Kong homes are too dear

Housing secretary Anthony Cheung notes that average household incomes still cannot catch up with property prices. Photo: Sam Tsang

Hong Kong’s residential prices and rents have gone beyond levels affordable to average residents, the housing minister has admitted.

Local home prices top a list of 360 cities around the world – in the fourth consecutive year a global survey has ranked Hong Kong No 1 in terms of unaffordable housing.

22 Jan 2014 - 4:25pm 6 comments

Offer of free land raises questions

Lee Shau-kee. Photo: Sam Tsang

Acts of philanthropy should be welcomed - even more so when they help resolve pressing problems that affect many in society. So when property tycoon Lee Shau-kee announced plans to donate seven plots of farm land to the government to build affordable housing for young buyers, he deserved public applause. However, given the sensitivity of land supply and the hostility towards the rich and influential among some local people, the mixed reaction was understandable.

17 Jun 2013 - 4:23am 4 comments

Young cage home residents 'isolated from family'

A single mother plays with her daughter in the bedroom of an 80 square-foot sub-divided flat. Photo: Reuters

Amid the public housing crunch, single people earning a low wage are taking up residence in subdivided flats and cage homes, but the cheaper rent comes with a steep emotional price: isolation from loved ones.

17 Jun 2013 - 5:39am 1 comment

'Caged animals' with no other options

Henry Cheung, a 51-year-old cleaner, says his children don't know he is living in a subdivided flat in Sham Shui Po. Photo: Nora Tam

For some young single people who earn very little, subdivided homes are the only option when they can no longer stay at home because of family problems.

17 Jun 2013 - 5:39am

Reserved property scheme may become policy

Paul Chan Mo-po, Secretary for Development. Photo: Sam Tsang

The comment came a day after tenders for the first two sites offered under the "Hong Kong property for Hong Kong people" scheme, at Kai Tak, drew a strong response from developers, with 29 bids.

2 Jun 2013 - 6:03am

Hongkongers looking for a better lifestyle flock to Shenzhen

This new residential complex in Dongguan is nicknamed 'Little Hong Kong' because of its many Hong Kong residents. Photo: SCMP

As friction continues between sections of Hong Kong's indigenous population - if there is such a thing - and the mainlanders they see as taking over their patch, there's another, less well-known migratory pattern taking place. It's in the opposite direction in search of what you might call "perfect otherness".

3 Jun 2013 - 10:22am 4 comments

Hong Kong's long road to better housing

Rehousing people who are forced to live in substandard, subdivided flats should be the priority of any developed society. Photo: AFP

Rehousing people who are forced to live in substandard, subdivided flats should be the priority of any developed society. Hong Kong has had a problem just counting these people accurately. According to the Census and Statistics Department the number fell from 58,300 in 2006 to 32,800 in 2011. Last October it put the figure at 69,400.

29 May 2013 - 6:16am 1 comment

Ecologists voice fears over planned housing in Tai Po

Ecologists voice fears over planned housing in Tai Po

The plan to build 267 three-storey houses met with opposition from green groups that said about five hectares of the site in She Shan Village in Lam Tsuen was buried under waste. They feared approval of the plan would encourage a "destroy first and build later" approach.

13 May 2013 - 5:24am

Government confirms talks under way on tycoon Lee Shau-kee's offer of land for homes

Lee Shau-kee (above) has held talks with Anthony Cheung.

Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung said the offer was unprecedented: "No developer has donated land to the government like this. If an individual is really willing to donate, and the land released fits the urban planning requirements for housing use, the government should consider it."

21 Apr 2013 - 6:28am 1 comment

Planning watchdog on a tight leash

Students of Hong Kong Baptist University protest at North Point Government Building during Town Planning Board's meeting on the land usage on former Lee Wai Lee Technical Institute. Photo: Edward Wong

Is the Town Planning Board a watchdog or a lapdog for the government? If you read the relevant ordinance, it is tasked with looking after the health, safety, convenience and general welfare of the public; more specifically, the use and development of land in the way it may affect communities and neighbourhoods.

17 Apr 2013 - 3:25am 3 comments

China could learn from Singapore's public housing model

China could learn from Singapore's public housing model

Even with the small dip after strong control measures, housing prices in Hong Kong remain near a historic high. With its property among the most expensive in the world, Hong Kong has long grappled with the problem of housing affordability. To effectively address it, a co-ordinated programme should have been put in place more than two decades ago. Yet mainland China has worse housing problems than Hong Kong. But it is not too late to fix it.

17 Apr 2013 - 3:25am 1 comment