Hong Kong housing

Housing prices top list of priorities for Hong Kong’s next chief executive: survey

Latest Post survey shows political reform and the establishment of national security legislation far from being number one concern

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 February, 2017, 9:51pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 February, 2017, 11:32pm

Housing affordability continues to rank as the most crucial issue facing Hong Kong’s next leader, with an increasing number of ­respondents to a South China Morning Post survey selecting it as the top priority.

In a telephone survey, which interviewed 1,018 people between February 2 and 8, just more than 70 per cent of respondents, or 717 people, selected housing prices as the most burning issue.

It marked an increase on the results of a January survey, in which 63 per cent – or 651 out of 1,024 respondents – selected the issue as the main priority.

The Post commissioned Chinese University’s centre for communication and public opinion to conduct the surveys, which asked the same batch of ­questions.

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“Tackling income ­inequality” was the ­second most selected issue by respondents, ­followed by “focusing on the economy”, and then easing ­tensions in the mainland-Hong Kong relationship.

Political reform again came fifth on the list of priorities, with the percentage of people selecting the issue dropping from 24.6 per cent in January to 17.5 per cent this month.

The establishment of a national security law was again selected as a priority by just 11 per cent of respondents. This was despite chief executive contenders Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, Woo Kwok-hing and John Tsang Chun-wah all saying they will raise the issue if elected. The remaining contender, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, has yet to unveil her manifesto.

John Tsang’s bold election pledge on public housing unrealistic, CY Leung says

All four have promised to make housing their priority task.

Government housing adviser Stanley Wong Yuen-fai said Tsang’s pledge to house 60 per cent of the population in public housing was simply not feasible, as it would require 500,000 to 600,000 additional public flats to be built over the next decade for the target to be reached.

Woo pledged to build temporary housing for those living in substandard subdivided flats and Ip has advocated for public-private housing partnerships to speed up supply.