Executive Council convenor Leung Chun-ying has called on the government to seriously consider resuming the subsidised Home Ownership Scheme, saying that any new measure to tackle the soaring property market would not have an immediate effect. 'We don't want to see flat and land prices drop, but when property prices remain relatively high, some families cannot afford to buy their own flats. Therefore, the government needs to come up with some subsidising measures,' Leung, a hopeful for the chief executive election in 2012, said yesterday. 'The HOS, which ran for 26 years, was very successful and it did not ... push down property prices,' he said, adding that more than 300,000 HOS flats had been sold since 1976. He said the government had sufficient experience in running the scheme, which was scrapped in 2002 to reverse a slump in the market. His comments came after better-than-expected land auction prices on Tuesday, four days after the government launched a series of measures to cool the property market. Leung, who has repeatedly questioned the government's arguments for not resuming the HOS, feared that other new measures might take a long time to take effect. 'If we come up with a plan which involves legislation, more time will be needed and it's just like distant water which cannot help quench a fire.' Leung also said if the government relied solely on increasing land supply and auctions to cool the market, it had to be cautious about the impact. This is because boosting land supply would cause flat prices to fall - an outcome not welcomed by everyone. Meanwhile, in a meeting yesterday with Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen to discuss his October policy address, the political group Economic Synergy suggested that the government could introduce conditions when selling land to developers that they build some small flats, of about 400 to 500 sq ft, for first-time homebuyers. The government could allow the developers to postpone the land premium payment for about five to 10 years so that developers could reduce the down payments facing buyers, it said. Legislator Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung said his group 'did not oppose building an appropriate quantity of HOS flats'. In another meeting between Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen and civil servant groups, the Federation of Civil Service Unions urged the government to resume building HOS flats.