THE Government's proposal to extend its compulsory purchase powers for private homes is getting into full swing following Governor Chris Patten's policy speech, analysts believe. The Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Tony Eason, first mentioned the idea at a town planning conference in Hong Kong last month. But industry watchers believe comments made by Mr Patten during his speech showed the plan is gathering steam, although he made no direct reference to it. Mr Patten said: ''We will continue to discourage speculation. An immediate practical measure is to speed up processing of private sector housing projects. ''We intend to give additional staff to the Lands Department in the coming year to improve processing time for lease modifications and land exchanges. ''That way, an extra 2,000 flats, on top of the current 15,000 or so, should reach the market each year.'' Mr Eason is keen to eliminate situations where individual owners in multi-owned buildings hold up possible redevelopment by not selling their flat. Authorities can now only issue orders for government or Land Development Corp (LDC) home schemes. One property analyst said: ''I think it shows the government has a co-ordinated project underway here. They are trying to encourage the redevelopment of older areas, like Western and Kowloon Tong. ''There's a limited amount of land available and each time they are having to negotiate with the Chinese. ''So, more of an emphasis is going on redevelopment and they are looking at things which will speed that process up a bit more.'' Tighter lending policies by the major financial institutions have resulted in a dramatic drop in activity in the residential sector, but experts' views on the affect on prices is conflicting. Michael McGuire, an assistant director at AG Wilkinson, said Mr Patten's pledge to speed up private project processing was not enough. ''It is not a significant amount. I also have doubts it will speed up the supply.''