18th April 2013
<Ho Man Tin Former Public Housing Land Turned into Luxurious Residential Land – Fails to Fully Utilise Land Resources>
By Green Sense
Former public housing land in Ho Man Tin has had its use changed into luxurious residential land. This is an egregious example of misuse of land resources. Given that Sun Hung Kai won the bids for most of the land, the property developers are the winners and the grass roots are the losers. Green Sense has applied to the Town Planning Board that the usage of the plot of land cannot be changed to private residential purpose.
If a plot of land in Ho Man Tin (a conveniently located area that is relatively quiet) is up for sale without any limit on maximum size of each unit, unit price and number of units, and the “Hong Kong land for Hong Kong people” policy is not implemented, what will this plot of land become? The answer is luxurious property units at an average price of HK$20,000/sq. ft. (US$15,500) Will this type of flat help ease the general public’s need for properties?
This plot of land was formerly Ho Man Tin Estate, and was supposed to be included in the land reserved for public housing. Regrettably, the government in the end chose to sell it for private housing, and announced the bidding details on 26th April. Green Sense applied to the Town Planning Board to change the land usage, proposing that the plot of land could only be used for public housing or Home Ownership Scheme. The Town Planning Board would begin consultation on 19th April or the next Friday (26th April) for three weeks.
The site next to this plot of land is located at the junction of Sheung Shing Street and Sheung Lok Street which was also part of Ho Man Tin Estate. The site is approximately 25,000 sq. ft. In mid-March, Kerry Properties successfully bid for the plot of land for an astonishing HK$11.68 billion (US$1.51 billion), which translates to HK$10,233 per sq. ft. (US$1,320). After taking construction costs and developer’s profit into account, the per sq. ft. price of the final property would be over HK$18,000 if not HK$20,000 (US$2,320 – 2,580).
After studying multiple former public housing sites, the land usage of many was changed to private residential, and the number of units was cut down significantly, and per unit size is between 800 sq. ft. and 1,600 sq. ft., which is not utilising the land fully. The number of public housing units in the urban areas continues to decrease, which causes a lot of social problems.
Green Sense strongly proposes that the minimum unit quantity condition must be added to each lot of private residential land, in order to restrict developers from building big units only, which in turn would reduce the number of units available in the market.
Number of Units on Former Public Housing Lands Pre- and Post-Land Sale
When Used as Public Housing
Post Land Sale