Hong Kong to Tender Six Sites for 3,000 Apartments Next Quarter

Hong Kong’s government will sell six residential sites next quarter that can provide about 3,000 apartments, as it seeks to raise new housing supply to help cool the world’s most expensive home market.

A commercial site and one for building a hotel will also be put up for tender during the last quarter of the government’s 2012 to 2013 fiscal year, Development Secretary Paul Chan told reporters today at a briefing in Hong Kong. The government plans to provide land where more than 20,000 residential units can be built in the current fiscal year ending March 2013, he said.

Government measures to cool the market have so far failed to ease home prices in Hong Kong, which has doubled in four years, surpassing a previous peak in 1997. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has imposed extra taxes and further tightened mortgage lending since taking over in July. Hong Kong is also the world’s most expensive place to lease office space, according to CBRE Group Inc., the world’s biggest commercial realtor.

Three of the sites being tendered in the next quarter will include clauses requiring developers to build a minimum number of apartments, Chan said. Apartments at two of the sites can only be sold to permanent Hong Kong residents, he said.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority said in its quarterly report this month the city’s overheated property market is increasingly disconnected from the rest of the economy and poses “macro-financial risks,” while the International Monetary Fund warned Dec. 12 that property is “the main source of domestic economic risk” for Hong Kong.

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