Wheelock Properties

Wheelock Properties applies to include subsidised flats at its project in Tai Po

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 September, 2017, 7:33am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 September, 2017, 7:33am

Wheelock Properties said it has applied to turn its farmland in Tai Po into a mixed private-public housing development that will include subsidised flats aimed at young, first-time buyers.

The move came after Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said last week that a “starter homes” scheme to help young families who could not afford private housing but earned too much to rent public flats will be outlined in next month’s policy speech.

Prices for private residential property have surged for 16 months in a row, making Hong Kong – already the world’s priciest housing market – even less affordable.

Ricky Wong, managing director of Wheelock Properties, said the firm proposed to convert a 2,705-unit residential project in Tung Tsz into a mixed development incorporating subsidised housing.

He said 40 per cent –1,005 units – would be set aside for public housing under the government’s proposed new starter homes scheme.

“We submitted the plan in May,” he said.

Wheelock has owned 860,000 square feet of farm land in Tung Tsz through Hobman Company since 1994.

As the land is designated for farming, Wheelock must apply to the Lands Department to change the land use to residential and pay the government a land premium.

Lam has indicated previously that the starter homes scheme will not be open to those who had previously bought a government-subsidise­d flat or who owned any other property.