Three Lingnan University academics have proposed a plan they say would boost the second-hand property market, creating jobs and cutting the government's budget deficit. The plan involves creating incentives for government housing tenants to buy more expensive second-hand apartments and a quota system for new unit sales. One main recommendation made by Professor Ho Lok-sang, director of the university's Centre for Public Policy, and his colleagues is eliminating the Tenant Purchase Scheme (TPS), which allows public housing tenants to buy flats at deep discounts, sometimes for as little as HK$200,000. This would raise demand for second-hand private and Home Ownership Scheme flats and create new jobs from the transactions involved, Professor Ho said. 'We are suggesting a way to correct the problems set off by the launch of TPS. Because the pricing of the units is so attractive there is no reason why they should spend such large amounts of money to buy HOS housing and private housing,' said Professor Ho, who presented his proposal yesterday along with Dr Wei Xiangdong and Dr Lin Ping. House prices have fallen by more than half since the market's peak in 1997. Professor Ho blamed the TPS scheme, introduced the same year, for part of the decline, which has contributed to almost four years of deflation. Under the academics' plan, owners of Home Ownership Scheme flats would be able to sell them back to the government at the original purchase price if they buy an apartment for the same or a higher price. Government loans should give home buyers more money for second-hand homes than new ones, they said. Professor Ho advised making developers buy at auction a quota for new apartments they want to build. Developers would only have to pay for the quota or a portion of it when apartments are sold and the money would compensate builders who did not sell their flats.