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Policy Address

Land Use — Development and Conservation

107. High property prices and rentals have been a critical livelihood issue in Hong Kong, placing a heavy burden on people. The housing problem affects family structure and distorts our value system. To own a home and repay a mortgage, many people set their eyes on making as much money as they can. Money also weighs heavily on young people when they make academic or career choices. The housing problem also poses the gravest potential hazard to the Hong Kong community as many families have no choice but to live in subdivided units, even in industrial buildings.

108. There are certain misunderstandings in the community about the demand and supply of land for housing. On the demand side, with a very low population growth rate and rapidly ageing population, we cannot rely on curtailing population growth to reduce housing demand. Over the past four years, despite a number of measures by the current-term Government which have successfully curbed external, investment and speculative demands, the difficulty in achieving home ownership remains an unresolved problem. As for supply, with the low vacancy rate of industrial buildings, we cannot count on their redevelopment to increase the supply of residential units. Even if we build in dense urban areas, flat production will still be very limited.



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