Henderson Plans 45,000 Housing Units, Lee Says

Henderson Land Development Chairman Lee Shau-kee
Henderson Land Development Chairman Lee Shau-kee speaks at a news conference in Hong Kong. Photographer: Timothy O'Rourke/Bloomberg

Henderson Land Development Co. plans four new residential projects in Hong Kong containing 45,000 units and 32 million square feet, the company’s Chairman Lee Shau-kee told reporters today.

While Lee didn’t immediately provide a timeline for the projects, he discussed them as the government has been trying to stabilize a property market that jumped 41 percent since the end of 2008. Hong Kong’s government has pledged to boost land supply as it tries to ease concerns of a real estate bubble.

“Having more new supply would sure help stabilize prices,” said James Cheung, director of Centaline Surveyors Ltd., a unit of one of the city’s biggest property agencies. “But the magnitude of the impact will depend on timing and exactly how many of those units are really built for the mass market.”

The total supply of private homes in Hong Kong, comprising unsold units in completed projects and those under construction, totaled 43,000 at the end of March, compared with 48,000 three months earlier, according to a Transport and Housing Bureau report published in April.

One of Henderson’s plans involves turning about 40 sites previously occupied by residential buildings on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon district into 12,000 new apartments with a total area of about 8 million square feet, Lee said after Henderson’s annual general meeting.

Agricultural Land

Two of the plans involve turning agricultural land in the rural New Territories into 31,000 apartments with 22 million square feet. The final plan would include projects in Kowloon and Hong Kong Island yielding about 2,000 units with 2 million square feet, Lee said.

“Our plan should help ease the tight supply,” Lee said today. “What we’re offering is almost four times the average annual private apartment completion in Hong Kong over the next few years.”

Lee said that new rules tightening the marketing of walk-through model apartments in Hong Kong “may cause a little inconvenience, but not big issues for developers.”

Hong Kong recently tightened rules on the marketing of show flats, which are set up in shopping malls and other areas away from actual developments under construction.

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