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Housing oversupply worries grow

Karen Chiu

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Hang Lung Properties (0101) chairman Ronnie Chan Chi-chung yesterday warned the property market could be oversupplied as the government considers multiple measures to boost housing amid global uncertainties.

Chan, who is a strong supporter of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, said fears are rising that a similar situation to 1997 will arise again.

At the start of that year, the then-chief executive Tung Chee-hwa put forward a target to build 85,000 units annually. But in the second half of 1997, the property market crashed due to fears of oversupply and the Asian financial crisis.

Chan's comments echoed those made by former financial secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung.

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The Hang Lung boss said current curbs imposed on the housing market were appropriate. But he refused to comment on rumors that authorities would impose more measures soon.

Vincent Chan Kwan-hing, residential chief executive at Midland Realty, said the Special Stamp Duty, imposed last October, had prompted unit prices to rise and transactions to fall. The agency expects deals in the secondary home market to decline and in the primary market to go up.

Henderson Land (0012) general manager of sales Thomas Lam Tat-man said the developer will stick to its plan to release flats despite rumors of fresh curbs.

At least 965 new units will be put up for sale in the first half, including those at Green Code in Fan Ling by Hong Kong Ferry (0050) at the end of this month.

Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016) expects to start selling its Residence 88 in Yuen Long on Wednesday at the earliest.


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