Five housing projects along West Rail and Ma On Shan Link will be put to tender, raising fears of end to market rebound The volatile property market received another blow yesterday with the KCRC's announcement that it will put five big housing projects - with more than 13,600 flats - up for tender from next year. Officials from both the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) and the government stressed the move would not harm the market, which has rebounded strongly since the end of the Sars outbreak last summer. But analysts said the news meant there would be a steady and sufficient supply of flats in future, which would have a psychological impact on both property owners and buyers. Daniel Lam Chun, the KCRC's property director, said the tendering process for five property developments along the West Rail and Ma On Shan Link would begin next year. The projects, with a total 13,657 units, are to be completed between 2008 and 2010. The first project, in Wu Kai Sha, will go to tender next spring. The government in October asked the rail companies to delay their property projects in a bid to boost the property market. They agreed that no projects would be supplied to the market before 2007. The MTR Corp has already said it will put up for tender 2,000 flats in Tseung Kwan O, to be completed in 2007. And the KCRC recently asked for the projects to be speeded up again, after the rail operator issued warnings about its profitability because of fewer-than-expected passengers on West Rail. The KCRC announcement came a day after the government on Saturday revised upward its forecast for the supply of residential flats in 2007 to 11,000. The Housing, Planning and Lands Bureau forecast in October that only 7,000 new units would be released onto the market in 2007. Mr Lam said the KCRC's plan would not severely upset the market because there had been sufficient co-ordination with the government on housing supply. 'Of course there will be an impact. But we have tried our best to have little adverse impact on the property market,' he said. Director of Lands Patrick Lau Lai-chiu said: 'The government always co-ordinates with the two railway companies and the Urban Renewal Authority to ensure land supply is provided in a steady manner that will be healthy for the development of the property market. 'There will not be any sudden influx of supply to push down the market.' Shih Wing-ching, chairman of Centaline Property, disagreed, however, saying the property market would be affected by the news. 'The impact will be psychological. The market has been slowing down and now the news comes out that there will be more supply,' Mr Shih said. 'But as a matter of fact, it is the first time we have had an idea of how many new flats we will have in 2008. 'This news may have more of an impact on investors; for homeowners, it is always the issue of affordability that counts.'