Hong Kong to Announce New Housing, Land Policies Today

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying will announce new housing policies today as the city’s home prices defied previous government attempts to cool the market.

Leung will hold a briefing at 5:15 p.m. local time, the government said in a statement, without giving details.

The chief executive, who took office in July, said earlier this month the government will seek to prevent “over-expansion” of bank credit to “ensure the healthy development of the residential market.” Home prices have recovered from a decline in the second half of last year even as the government lowered its growth forecast for 2012 and as the Chinese economy slows down.

“The measures should have some cooling effect,” said Ringo Lam, Hong Kong-based director of valuation at property broker AG Wilkinson. “We have to look at the details to assess the magnitude of the impact.”

Leung was elected after pledging to boost housing supply to bridge a widening wealth gap and rein in property prices that have gained more than 85 percent since early 2009. Since taking office, Leung has said he will stick to his commitment to restart a subsidized housing program halted in 2004.

The seven-member Hang Seng Property Index fell 2.8 percent today, the biggest drop since May 16, after Sing Tao Daily reported today that the government will announce new measures to cool home prices as early as next week.

Savills Plc said Hong Kong is the world’s costliest place to buy an apartment, with prices about 85 percent higher than in London, where the property broker is based.

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