Experts' views on Tsang’s budget

Tsang backed the housing policy, but Wu Boxiong says it is stiffling the market. Above, the Wah Fu Estate in Po Fu Lam, which Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying marked for redevelopment in his 2014 address.

Wu Boxiong, associate professor of economics at Hong Kong Baptist University.


Wednesday, 26 February, 2014, 4:20pm 2 comments

Bar state-owned developers from commercial housing market

A view of high-rise residential properties in Shanghai. Photo: AFP

Despite government efforts to cool the property market, land sales in China have surged in the first five months of the year, with record prices set. More worryingly, state-owned enterprises were once again in the thick of the action, despite an order from the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (Sasac) to back off.

13 Jun 2013 - 2:18am

Dublin – repossessions start soon

A man browses residential properties for sale in the window of an estate agent in Dublin, Ireland. Photo: Bloomberg

There are lots of reasons to see recovery in Ireland. Today's second look at Ireland demonstrates its desire to be the first country to leave the European rescue programme. Property is a key factor in this.

7 Jun 2013 - 9:26pm

Ireland – time to buy property again?

Unoccupied residential property sits on a stalled housing development in Dublin, Ireland. Photo: Bloomberg

The Irish property market collapsed spectacularly when most of Europe went into meltdown. Ireland was one of the “I”s in “PIGS” – Portugal, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Greece and Spain. That’s largely thanks to feckless lending by the big banks, which needless to say were bailed out, but until now have been oddly reluctant to lend to anyone wanting to borrow.

7 Jun 2013 - 9:05pm

Small-house policy is flawed

Hau Kwok-cheung - outside Fanling Court - maintains that his house in Kam Tsin village is not subject to a three-storey limit under the small-house policy. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

The small-house policy is now becoming more like a tool for developers to grab land and build houses for sale rather than a policy for villagers to build their own houses.

Although every indigenous male villager has the right to build a small house, not all of them want to and even those who do may not be able to acquire a piece of land to make this possible.

4 Jun 2013 - 1:58am 1 comment

Land reclamation is not the answer to public housing shortage

Newly reclaimed land from Central to Wan Chai and what it used to look like with the old Star Ferry Pier. Photo: Sam Tsang

Passions were running high last Saturday as government officials met the public for the second stage of consultation on reclamation in Hong Kong waters.

17 May 2013 - 3:17am 1 comment

Complexities of small-house issue are no excuse for government to back off

More than 100 angry New Territories indigenous residents of the New Territories hold their umbrellas under the rain and protest outside Legco Building about the small-house policy, Central. Photo: Martin Chan

What does the word "temporary" mean to you? In the case of the small-house policy, it means 40 years and more. It was first introduced in Hong Kong as a temporary measure to address housing needs of indigenous villagers in the New Territories. Today, it has been criticised as unsustainable and outdated.

7 May 2013 - 2:23am

More property buying tips in China

A visitor learns housing information in front of the model of a residential housing project during the 5th Western China House and Automobile Fair in Yinchuan. Photo: Xinhua

There are many good reasons to buy a new, not second-hand, home in China. Every time I talk to property investment expert Chris Dillon I glean something new. Most of it is common sense, such as if you buy from a developer, you evade to 0.5 per cent to 3 per cent estate agent commission, depending on location and your negotiating skills.

29 Apr 2013 - 1:08pm 1 comment

Draughty London mansion, anyone?

A general view of 18 Carlton House Terrace in St James's, in London. Photo: EPA

So, London’s reputedly most expensive mansion has been trumped by London’s even more expensive mansion. This comes only a few weeks after reading that Heath Hall, on north London’s Hampstead Heath had its asking price slashed by a thumping £35 million (HK$420 million) from its previous £100 million (HK$1.2 billion) tag.

29 Apr 2013 - 12:56pm

Hong Kong property buyers can turn the tables on mainland Chinese

Property in Guangzhou has interesting history. Photo: AStock/Corbis

Hongkongers who are tired of mainland buyers driving up local property prices may want to flip the situation and buy real estate across the border.

Property specialist Christopher Dillon looks at exactly that in his new book Landed China. He writes about the steps foreigners must take to buy property on the mainland.

22 Apr 2013 - 2:28am

Buyers, have we got a deal for you!

Agents cajole homebuyers as they arrive at the Housing Society office in Tai Hang to select flats in a Tsing Yi project. Photo: Felix Wong

Homebuyers who turned up to select a subsidised flat from a Tsing Yi project that went on sale yesterday found that it wasn't just the cheap homes in hot demand - so was their business.

9 Apr 2013 - 4:33am

Uniform Hainan housing divides the online community

A general view shows newly built houses at Dadun village of Lingshui ethnic Li Autonomous County, Hainan province. Photo: Reuters

The photograph was published by writer Liang Hong on microblogging platform Sina Weibo on Sunday. She commented in the post under the photo: “A bunch of brand-new prisons without space or privacy…China is turning into a desperate nightmare. Wherever you go, you see the same thing.”

8 Apr 2013 - 9:05pm

Vacant school sites marked out for housing

Anthony Cheung signals housing help for 'non-elderly' singles.

The city has identified 18 vacant school premises for possible rezoning in the government's latest search for more land to ease the housing shortage. Secretary for Transport and Housing Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, who chairs the Long Term Housing Strategy Steering Committee, told the media yesterday the Development Bureau had briefed the committee on measures to increase land supply, including a new initiative of taking back disused school sites.

29 Mar 2013 - 4:03am

'Non-elderly' singles may get priority for rental flats

A high-level housing committee will meet today to discuss ways to allow middle-aged single applicants for public rental flats to get them quicker.

There were 35,000 "non-elderly" singles - people aged over 35 but below 60 - among the 220,000 applicants on the waiting list in December.

28 Mar 2013 - 4:50am

Woman buys US$6.5m Manhattan apartment - for two-year-old daughter

The Manhattan skyline. Photo: Reuters

The Chinese woman told a shocked New York real estate agent that her daughter would be going to Columbia University, New York University or maybe Harvard in the future.  

26 Mar 2013 - 5:05pm 4 comments