Short-term supply unlikely to increase significantly
Jan 30, 2023
Short-term supply unlikely to increase significantly Hong Kong
By   Internet
  • City News
  • Housing supply
  • housing projects
  • property demand
Abstract: According to the Housing Bureau, the potential supply of first-hand private residential units in the next three to four years is at an all-time high of 105,000, which may give homebuyers hope that they will be able to "buy a large number of flats".

Experts believe that the actual supply may not increase significantly, especially in the medium to long term after 2025, depending on the progress of the "Northern Metropolitan Area".


According to Midland Property's Chief Analyst Lau Ka-fai, new property sales in the fourth quarter of last year were only around 850 units, a quarterly low since the First-hand Sales Ordinance in 2013.


On the contrary, the number of "disposed land" units increased significantly in the fourth quarter of last year, driving a rebound in first-hand supply over the next three to four years.


However, it takes time for projects to be completed from disposed land to completion, and it is difficult to complete them overnight.


The number of completions in the next few years can be gauged by the number of units under construction, which hit an 11-year low last year, with a total of 81,000 units under construction in the past five years, or an average of 16,200 units per year.


According to Mr Wong Siu-ki, Director and Head of Greater China Research and Consulting at Knight Frank, the property market performed less well than expected in the fourth quarter of last year, with developers slowing down the pace of new launches and a significant increase in the number of developable units, resulting in a significant increase in overall supply.


He estimates that residential construction will pick up to around 15,000-17,000 units this year, up 40 per cent year-on-year, while completions will remain steady at around 18,000-20,000 units in total.


The Government is still relying on private development projects to increase supply, which is still sufficient in the short term, but the medium to long term land supply from 2025 onwards depends on the Government's development progress for the "Northern Metro Area", as it has to deal with land resumption issues such as brownfield, agricultural and tso tong sites.


Although Hong Kong has gradually resumed customs clearance with the Mainland, the number of residential transactions is expected to remain low this year, with 48,000 to 53,000 cases expected, as the market is still affected by interest rate hikes and a lack of purchasing power.


Leung Yuet-ho, Land and Housing Researcher at Unite Hong Kong Foundation, also believes that the number of construction starts last year was only 11,000 units and will improve this year as the epidemic in Hong Kong slows down and the community gradually returns to normal, coupled with the availability of 23,000 units of "ripe" land in the fourth quarter of last year, we remain cautiously optimistic about the number of completions in the coming years.

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