The Government's recent announcement on the large amount of land to be released over the next 10 years reaffirms its determination to provide sufficient supply to regulate the property market, according to property industry players. Because supply in the New Territories will increase substantially under the programme, surveyors say prices in the area could face pressure. On Monday, Land and Building Advisory Committee (LBAC) chairman professor Yeung Yue-man announced that land supply for various uses in the coming 10 years would be about 3,872 hectares, 40 per cent of which had been formed. The amount of land to be released would be subject to regular review. The timing of land disposal would also be determined by the five-year Land Sale and Development Programme in response to market demand, he said. 'Land produced but not immediately required for disposal will be held as land reserve to ensure steady supply of land,' he said. Brooke International chairman Nicholas Brooke said the move demonstrated the Government would maintain sufficient land supply in the medium to long term in a policy that should stabilise the property market. He also said that while the Government had announced its intentions in the New Territories, it had not revealed details of flat production in urban areas. In Monday's announcement, Mr Yeung said he expected there would be about 100,000 units supplied in the northwest and northeast New Territories while another 57,000 flats would be produced from the West Rail and Ma On Shan railway development. He expected the demand for office space to increase by 68 per cent from 1998 to 2011. An estimated additional 90 hectares of industrial land would be re-zoned, after about 100 hectares had been re-zoned since mid-1997. John Hui, first vice-president of the Hong Kong Institute of Real Estate Administration, believed the Government would adopt a flexible approach in its land-supply programme to prevent oversupply. He said it was difficult to estimate total housing production using only land-supply figures without plot ratios being issued. However, the announcement might put pressure on property prices in the New Territories, given the substantial housing supply in the area. He suggested the Government should not increase office and commercial land supply until the market improved. In December last year, the vacancy rate in Central was 10 per cent, in Wan Chai 12 per cent and in Tsim Sha Tsui up to 14 per cent, he said. He believed existing office space would take about three to five years to fill.