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Old October 23rd, 2015, 07:50 PM   #1941
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Henderson Land boss foresees mild correction in Hong Kong property prices
16 October 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt



Hong Kong home prices will not see a sharp fall but rather a mild correction of about 5 per cent in the coming year, property tycoon Lee Shau-kee said.

“Land and construction costs are still high so home prices are unlikely to drop sharply,” said Lee, who is chairman of Henderson Land Development.

Lee was speaking in Beijing after attending the topping out ceremony of a science and technology building at Tsinghua University, to which he donated 300 million yuan (HK$365 million).

Although the increase in supply in the next few years may put pressure on property prices, demand remained strong, he said.

A recent report by investment bank UBS said Hong Kong home prices could tumble 30 per cent by the end of 2017.

The Hong Kong economy was still in good shape and prices of mass residential properties were still on the rise, Lee said, adding that there was no need for the government to relax its measures to curb property prices at the moment.

He spoke of a 40 per cent chance of an interest rate rise this year, but said it was unlikely to weigh on Hong Kong's property market.

Lee said it was still a good time for end-users to buy property in Hong Kong, but said “speculation is not appropriate”.
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Old October 24th, 2015, 10:50 PM   #1942
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Hey,

Just made a video about the top 10 cities with most skyscrapers, Honk Kong is on the list! Check out the video if you are interest: you wont be disappointed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO48JxnWMxw
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Old October 26th, 2015, 10:29 AM   #1943
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Calls for alternate link to Hong Kong airport
25 October 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt

A minor shipping incident that effectively crippled Hong Kong International Airport for more than two hours on Friday night has sparked calls for the government to quickly establish alternative transport links to what is widely regarded as one of the world's best airports.

The only road and rail connection to the airport - the Lantau Link - was closed down after a barge hit the Kap Shui Mun Bridge on Friday night, prompting the link's closure and more than two hours of transport chaos.

The now-under-construction tunnel, linking the island of Chek Lap Kok - where the airport is situated - and Tuen Mun would take three years to complete, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said yesterday after holding an interdepartmental meeting on the incident.

Leung, who described the coordination work as "swift" after the collision, said fewer than 100 passengers had missed flights as a result of the bridge closure.

Last night, as police were questioning three seafarers thought to have been responsible for the barge that hit the bridge, wider fears were being voiced over why a major aviation hub such as Hong Kong relies on only a single link - the Kap Shui Mun and Tsing Ma Bridges that make up the Lantau Link - to connect it to a major airport.

Among those calling for action was Allen Ha Wing-on, chief executive of AsiaWorld-Expo, an exhibition centre beside the airport, who said the incident highlighted the need for an alternative connection. He suggested a contingency ferry route between the airport and Central ferry piers - near the Airport Express' city terminus - in case road and rail transport ground to a halt again, but added: " The incident highlights the need for an alternative route to Lantau.''

The chaos also refocused minds on previous government attempts to built an alternative link to the airport.

A planned bridge - originally part of the so-called "Route 10" proposal by the first post-handover administration of then-chief executive, Tung Chee-hwa - might have avoided the two-hour mess had it not been voted down in 2002 by, among other parties, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong.

One of the most vocal opponents then was Lau Kong-wah, now home affairs minister.
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Old October 26th, 2015, 08:19 PM   #1944
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9/4

Upper West 奧城.西岸
10/25

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Old October 27th, 2015, 04:43 AM   #1945
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Mong Kok lift as civil servants move
The Standard Excerpt
Tuesday, October 27, 2015



A government building in Mong Kok is being vacated and will be put on the market this year to provide 26,000 square meters for the commercial sector, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah said yesterday.

Eleven government department offices at the Trade and Industry Department Tower on Nathan Road are being moved into the new Trade and Industry Tower at the Kai Tak Development Area.

"The government is also actively planning the construction of a number of buildings in various districts for the phased relocation of the three government office buildings near the Wan Chai waterfront," he said.

Tsang was speaking as he officiated at the opening ceremony of the commissioning of TI Tower, the first government office building completed at Kai Tak.

Also present were Secretary for Commerce Greg So Kam-leung and Secretary for Financial Services Ceajer Chan Ka-keung.

Located on Concorde Road, the HK$2.65 billion 22-story tower together with its adjacent community hall will provide around 33,000 sq m of space for about 2,500 staff.

Apart from freeing up office supply in core commercial areas, Tsang hopes the relocation of the departments can bring more economic vitality to Kai Tak.
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Old October 27th, 2015, 12:20 PM   #1946
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Calls for alternate link to Hong Kong airport
25 October 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt

A minor shipping incident that effectively crippled Hong Kong International Airport for more than two hours on Friday night has sparked calls for the government to quickly establish alternative transport links to what is widely regarded as one of the world's best airports.

The only road and rail connection to the airport - the Lantau Link - was closed down after a barge hit the Kap Shui Mun Bridge on Friday night, prompting the link's closure and more than two hours of transport chaos.
Oct 26, 2015
Lantau Link traffic chaos: What are the lessons?
Hong Kong Economic Journal Excerpt



A bridge-related accident and the resulting traffic chaos have exposed the lacunae in Hong Kong’s urban planning, particularly in relation to the Lantau area development.

On Friday, people found themselves cut off from Lantau and the International Airport as authorities closed a vital transport link after a barge collision triggered an alarm at the Kap Shui Mun Bridge.

As safety checks were conducted at the bridge, which along with the adjoining Tsing Ma Bridge constitutes the only direct road link between the airport and the city, traffic ground to a halt for more than two hours.

With rail operator MTR also forced to suspend its Airport Express services for a while and close a section of its Tung Chung line, tens of thousands of commuters and motorists were left stranded.

Some air passengers missed their flights, while people who landed in Hong Kong found themselves unable to get to the city on time.

The traffic chaos, meanwhile, prompted some airlines to delay their services, throwing travel schedules into disarray.

The Lantau Link, comprising the Kap Shui Mun and the Tsing Ma Bridge, was restored sometime around 10 pm after being shut from 7.40 pm. However, it took a long time for the vehicle gridlock on the highway to clear.

Government officials, meanwhile, were scrambling to assuage the public, saying that it was an unfortunate accident.

The barge which smashed into the Kap Shui Mun Bridge, triggering the alarm and prompting the closure of the Lantau Link, was said to be bearing a large structure that was beyond the permissible height.

Authorities are questioning the captain of the vessel after taking three people into custody amid an investigation into the accident.

While more explanations are likely in the coming days, the events have highlighted the bitter truth about Hong Kong’s over-reliance on one particular transport link between the airport and the city.

While additional ferry services can be roped in under contingency plans, it is unrealistic to expect that they can be a quick alternative to road and rail transport in case of a breakdown of the Lantau Link, as we saw late last week.

On Friday, the government called for some ferry services between Tung Chung and Tsuen Wan after the closure of the two bridges.

But the ferry operator could get its emergency service ready only by 10 pm, when the highway was already reopened.

Thus the contingency plan proved a failure, causing problems to many airline passengers.

*************************************************************

While a new tunnel is underway to connect Tuen Mun and Northern Lantau, a project that is expected to be completed by 2018, the venture is part of the HK-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge investment, rather than one that will serve as the second link to the airport.

The government had in the past admitted that the continued development of Northern Lantau could put pressure on the existing traffic infrastructure.
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Old October 28th, 2015, 04:49 AM   #1947
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Oct 26, 2015
Hong Kong Economic Journal Excerpt
Let’s stop the invasion of our country parks

Last Saturday at a forum organized by the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, former financial secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung, who is widely tipped as a CE hopeful in the 2017 election, said that in order to maintain Hong Kong’s competitiveness, our city needed to have a population of 10 million.

He went on to say that just by trimming the size of our country parks by 5 percent, we would find enough land to accommodate the extra population.

The former colonial government passed the “Country Parks Ordinance” and introduced systematic afforestation across the territory in 1976 in order to preserve our wildland and wildlife sanctuaries, as well as to protect our catchwater drain network so as to guarantee our water supply.

Unfortunately, over the years our country parks have continued to fall victim to the collusion between real estate developers and local landowners, who are turning more and more of our wildland into luxury homes, taking advantage of legal loopholes in the name of land development, at the expense of our ecosystem.

As a consequence, not only are Hong Kong people losing a considerable amount of our woodlands every year, but a lot of endangered plants and insects are also losing their natural habitats.

For example, the big real estate project that has been underway in recent years near Fung Yuen in Tai Po has put over a hundred endangered butterfly species at risk.

It seems our big real estate developers are setting their sights on every inch of land in our country parks to satisfy their voracious appetite.

As a result, bird songs and the humming of insects, once common in the countryside, are being drowned out by the roar of bulldozers and backhoes.

As the greed of big developers swells, sustainability is giving way to profitability, while new shopping malls and luxury homes are invading our countryside and replacing the trees and rocks in our wilderness.

Is that exactly the kind of living environment that the people of Hong Kong are longing for?

As Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah put it in his 2015-16 budget speech, “having developed for more than a century, Hong Kong ranks in the top tier globally for its economic success. However, behind and beyond material fulfillment, the people of this city, our younger generations in particular, are hungering for spiritual contentment”.

He hit the nail on the head. An increasing number of people in this city have begun to look beyond material comforts and search for something more, something that can give them spiritual satisfaction and a sense of cultural and social identity, such as harmony with nature, conservation of cultural heritage, and the creation of a warm and friendly neighborhood.

The 79-day Occupy Movement that took our city by storm last year represented the culmination in the pursuit of higher values among our young people.

It is not difficult to understand that why our country parks always make easy targets for real estate developers.

It is uninhabited and not owned by anybody, whereas redevelopment of village land often entails relocation of villagers, a vast amount of compensation or even endless lawsuits.
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Old October 29th, 2015, 02:50 PM   #1948
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Rallying cry for projects
The Standard Excerpt
Thursday, October 29, 2015


政府新聞處提供圖片

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying again rallied support for government infrastructure projects as he inspected the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link.

The visit by Leung yesterday came after all road and rail access to and from Tung Chung and the airport was suspended on Friday night when a boat collided with the Lantau Link's Kap Shui Mun Bridge.

On Tuesday, Leung said the road link, which may act as an alternative to the Tsing Ma Bridge, has been delayed for a year because of a judicial review into the Hong Kong- Zhuhai-Macau bridge.

As a result, the link should be up and running in three years, instead of two. Its completion will shorten travel distance from Tuen Mun to the airport and Tung Chung by nearly 22 kilometers.

It will also reduce travel time by about 20 minutes, improving the transportation network.
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Old October 30th, 2015, 11:19 AM   #1949
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Opposition ‘delaying’ road link projects
28 October 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt

By nkp8 from dcfever :



Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has blamed legal challenges for delaying vital infrastructure projects – including an alternative road link to Hong Kong International Airport, which was thrown into chaos on Friday after a barge hit Kap Shui Mun Bridge.

Leung said his government attached great importance to improving the city’s transport network, but objections and judicial review cases had held up projects in the past.

These included a tunnel linking Tuen Mun and northern Lantau Island, which could serve as a much-needed alternative route to the airport.

Speaking before yesterday’s Executive Council meeting, Leung said: “The start dates of many of these projects were delayed due to opposition and judicial reviews,” Leung said. “Otherwise the Tuen Mun-Lantau link could be opened in two years, not three.”

Leung said completion of the link was delayed by one year to 2018 because of a judicial review of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge project, which the Tuen Mun-Lantau link is part of.

At another meeting yesterday, transport minister Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung said the Tuen Mun-Lantau link could help divert traffic to Lantau. He also said an interdepartmental meeting on the barge incident, which blocked access to the airport along the existing Lantau Link for almost two hours, would be held tomorrow morning.

“We will discuss the current communications strategies and contingency plans to see if we have taken enough measures [to avoid future accidents],” said Cheung.

The Transport Department came under fire for reacting too slowly to Friday’s accident. Amid the chaos, the department arranged more ferries between Central and Discovery Bay – which carried 1,400 passengers – and boosted bus services from Discovery Bay to the airport.

An emergency ferry service between Tsuen Wan West and Tung Chung was also arranged and was due to operate from 10pm on Friday. However, the bridge was reopened at 9.40pm.

Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong lawmaker Chan Kam-lam, who voted against “Route 10” – a north Lantau to Yuen Long highway – in 2002, said the current contingency plans, in place for 18 years, were still “in time”. He said there would be no alternative route to Lantau until the link between Tuen Mun and Chek Lap Kok was ready in 2018.
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Old November 1st, 2015, 07:49 PM   #1950
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Hi!

I am not sure if this is repost, but I just found this incredible aerial video of Hong Kong.
This is a must see!



Additional info: part of the city is now 3D in Google Earth
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Old November 9th, 2015, 01:19 PM   #1951
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The SAR should have a land bank
4 November 2015
China Daily Excerpt

Regina Ip argues that while a correction in home prices is probably long overdue, a collapse in the property market, as occured in Hong Kong in 2002-03, is unlikely

Recent softening of home prices in the secondary market has led many to predict that a correction is in the offing. Indeed, after home prices have surged more than 400 percent since July 2003, a correction is long overdue.

There is slim likelihood, however, that a collapse in property prices will materialize. There continues to be brisk demand for new homes. The reason is there remains an imbalance between the supply and demand, which is so severe that barring another global economic catastrophe, a collapse in home prices as in 2002-03 is unlikely to occur.

Many lessons can be learned from the sharp reversal of the supply and demand situation in recent years. Stability in home prices cannot be achieved if the government produces knee-jerk responses to the collapse in property prices and neglects the need to meet long-term demand. Land and housing being such scarce commodities in Hong Kong, any slackening in efforts to maintain an adequate supply of housing, whether in the subsidized public sector or in private markets, is bound to result in a sharp run-up of home prices and long waiting lists for public rental housing.

The imbalance in the supply and demand of land and housing today is so severe that home ownership - including occupation of a public rental unit - is widely seen as the fastest route to wealth. The interest in property has all but crowded out interest in entrepreneurship in other sectors with lower returns. Worse still, wealth is concentrated so unevenly in the propertied class that the widening gap between the "property haves" and "have-nots" is engendering bitterness and instability in our society. The shortage of land is also hampering the expansion of traditional "pillar" industries and the development of new emerging industries.

In the past three years, the current administration has made a valiant effort to increase land supply by increasing the plot ratio for residential buildings and seeking change of land use to permit more development. Yet the government's efforts succeeded in yielding only 150 plots of land scattered in different parts of Hong Kong, five of which are subject to judicial reviews. The government is expected to run out of readily developable land in two to five years' time.

The government is also exploring the possibility of massive reclamation east of Lantau Island to accommodate up to 700,000 people. Yet it will take decades before such large-scale reclamation could materialize; and easily over a decade before the new development areas under planning in the New Territories can produce new land.


So that Hong Kong can move forward, the government must provide a sustainable long-term solution to Hong Kong's ever-growing demand for land to meet its housing and developmental needs. To this end, the government should set up a statutory lands development authority with the following objectives: First, to undertake a comprehensive review of Hong Kong's long-term needs for land for residential and other developmental purposes, and for meeting mounting public demand for various social facilities. This work cannot be left to bureaucrats simply following established planning guidelines and standards. Such planning work should be carried out in accordance with a high-level vision of what sort of city Hong Kong should become in the long run; what industries should be kept in Hong Kong; where new, "smart cities" should be built within Hong Kong; how Hong Kong can grow and how more open space, recreational facilities and better housing should be provided to create a better future for all.

Second, this authority should help the government to build a "land bank" of readily developable lands, in the same way that developers have done through patient accumulation and buying low when the markets are down. As land prices are bound to appreciate in a land-hungry city like Hong Kong, the government would be better positioned to do more for the people when it has its own land bank.

Third, armed with an initial capital injection of, say HK$50 billion, this authority should seek to resolve long outstanding problems dogging the government, such as how to deal with the vast entitlements of indigenous male residents of the New Territories for grant of land to build "small houses" in the village environs.
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Old November 10th, 2015, 05:06 PM   #1952
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Upton 維港峰
180 CONNAUGHT ROAD WEST
41/F, labels up to 46/F after omitted floors (4, 13, 14, 24, 34, 44)

8/22



P1040908.jpg by kaveman743, on Flickr
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Old November 11th, 2015, 07:47 AM   #1953
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have so much info here , but I picked some interesting things so thanks.
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Old November 11th, 2015, 08:42 AM   #1954
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Hong Kong Economic Journal Excerpt
Feb 2, 2015
Parking spot in Western district fetches nearly HK$4 mln

Prices of parking spots in Western district are approaching a staggering HK$4 million, Apple Daily reported Monday.

A 135 square foot parking space at Upton, the new luxury residential project in Sai Ying Pun, recently fetched HK$3.93 million (US$510,000) — which could pay for a 300 square foot flat at City One Shatin.

The parking spot at Upton cost over HK$29,000 per sq ft.

Emperor International Holdings Ltd. (00163.HK) decided to roll out parking spaces for sale at its project after eager homebuyers snapped up more than 70 flats at prices ranging up to nearly HK$30,000 per sq ft.

The development, served by the MTR’s new West Island Line, is said to feature stunning vistas of Victoria Harbour and boasts singer-actor Nicholas Tse as its celebrity ambassador.
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Old November 11th, 2015, 06:09 PM   #1955
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CY floats use of country park land to build homes
11 November 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Chief executive’s comments come a day after major think tank makes the same suggestion

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying yesterday risked the ire of environmentalists by raising the possibility of using country park land with low ecological value for housing.

Speaking ahead of an Executive Council meeting, Leung echoed comments by researchers from the Our Hong Kong Foundation think tank, who a day earlier suggested a review of the ecological value and purpose of all country parks as part of a wider strategy on housing.

But development minister Paul Chan Mo-po quickly reiterated that the government would not move to develop country parks before its term ends in 2017.

Leung said there were suggestions from the community that those parts of the 400 square kilometres of country park land deemed to be of low ecological and sightseeing value could be used to build flats.

He said he had raised the idea with young people during forums on housing, and suggested flats built on such sites could be sold to targeted groups, including young people, at lower prices with land premiums waived.

“So what do young people think about this suggestion? ... I think we can explore it,” Leung said. “Land is like other resources. Sometimes we cannot have one thing to serve two purposes.

“When we have country parks, we will have less land for development. When we have more land for development we have less land for country parks.”

Leung said he welcomed the foundation’s efforts to seek solutions to housing problems.

He added that some 14,400 public rental flats his government planned to build had been delayed as neighbours sought judicial reviews.

This is not the first time the government has floated the possibility of developing country park land. Chan suggested in 2013 that the idea should be debated. Chan reiterated yesterday that the government would focus on rezoning green-belt sites or “brown-field” land used for purposes such as warehouses.
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Old November 12th, 2015, 04:33 AM   #1956
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Small is not just beautiful but never dies
Aug 26, 2015
Hong Kong Economic Journal Excerpt

Nov 11, 2015
Tiny flats and the ugly truth they reveal
Hong Kong Economic Journal Excerpt

I recently caught an episode of the popular TVB Sunday evening program “Dream House Decor”.

In the half-hour episode that was sponsored by IKEA, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary in Hong Kong, a soon-to-be bride wanted a room to be redesigned so that it will meet the needs of her married life.

Two teams competed for the best design on how to fit in everything that a young couple could want, in a room measuring no more than 100 square feet.

There were a few things that stayed on my mind after the program. First, IKEA offered a useful tip that one can install a kitchen cabinet into the bedroom to save space. Second, it was shown that one can divide even the tiny room into sleeping quarters and workstation area using a curtain partition.

A friend, who has two young daughters, later told me that he too had seen the program and that he found it to be rather depressing to watch during dinner time.

He also said that he now has serious doubts if his daughters, one of whom is in London and the other one planning to study in Japan, would ever want come back to Hong Kong after their studies.

Welcome to the new reality in Hong Kong, where a bedroom may have to be combined with kitchen, work and shower facilities.

With housing affordability continuing to worsen, many people from the younger generation have to settle for shoebox-sized units and make all sorts of compromises.

You can put some of the blame on the city’s first chief executive, Tung Chee-hwa, who failed to keep his promises.

Tung once promised to supply 85,000 units each year that would ensure 70 percent homeownership in 10 years. However, he failed to implement his grand plan as the Asian financial crisis led to a collapse in housing prices in the late 90s.

His successor Donald Tsang Yum-kuen also did not tackle the problem during his stint in office between 2005 and 2012. That left the city’s current leader, Leung Chun-ying, to deal with the backlog and growing frustrations of the people.

With a long queue for public housing, together with a growing influx of mainlanders coming to work and study, Hong Kong has come up with a “small” solution for its housing problem.

It basically amounts to this: If the size of the cake remains the same while the number of claimants rise, there is no option but to carve out much smaller slices from the pie.

Thus, we are seeing a proliferation of extremely tiny apartments that are really an affront to people’s dignity.

In the past year, at least three residential projects were launched that would offer studio flats measuring less than 200 square feet. But small size does not mean cheap, as almost all the units have price tags running into the millions.

Some of the tiny units had an asking price of more than HK$3 million, with some even close to HK$4 million.

The latest case is that of The Zutten, a Henderson Land project at Ma Tau Kok in Kowloon City which offered studio units of 165 square feet, the smallest units available this year. Pricing at the 300-unit single building, where the largest unit will be no more than 300 square feet, is yet to be revealed.
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Old November 12th, 2015, 03:25 PM   #1957
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The Zutten 迎豐
50 Ma Tau Kok Road
28 stories (to 31/F)
http://www.thezutten.com.hk/en/home.html
Expected Completion : 2017





]
http://hk.apple.nextmedia.com/realti...51111/54414747
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Old November 13th, 2015, 03:50 AM   #1958
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URA to sell Kai Tak flats at steep 20pc discount
The Standard Excerpt
Friday, November 13, 2015



The Urban Renewal Authority will sell units at its completed De Novo project in Kai Tai at 20 percent below the prevailing market price.

Flats at the subsidized scheme will be sold at an average price of HK$11,000 per square feet.

Thus, prices of the homes will vary between HK$3.6 million and HK$6.3 million. Most units are one to two bedroom units and sized between 332 and 675 square feet. All flats come with appliances.

De Novo is made up of four towers, with 338 units has been allotted for direct sale.

The units target young middle- class families with monthly household earnings of up to HK$60,000 and maximum assets worth HK$3 million.
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Old November 13th, 2015, 12:20 PM   #1959
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Protecting country parks means reclamation and northeast development
12 November 2015
Sing Tao Excerpt


Kam Shan Country Park, Hong Kong by Patrick Brunner, on Flickr

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying made use of Our Hong Kong Foundation's report release to highlight the conflict between country parks and land development. There is a land shortage in Hong Kong, which affects not only accommodation and property prices but also various commercial and social facilities including hospitals, schools, etc. They all have to scramble for land. If the community does not want to have the country parks "occupied", it must contribute to other means of developing land by giving the green light to mid- and long-term schemes of northeast New Territories development and reclamation in the Central Waters as soon as possible while in the short term, the change in use for a small part of the land planned for greening should be approved. The government must also speed up settling container sites so as to release a large amount of brownfield sites in the New Territories.

The ordinance now used to restrict the development of country parks was set 40 years ago. The purpose was to prevent Hong Kong's beautiful slopes and hills from being flattened and forests turned into concrete jungles. Hence the legislation on country parks was to protect the environment.

Country parks have kept for Hong Kong many scenic landscapes that many major cities are lacking. In terms of the natural environment, Hong Kong is obviously a lot more graceful than Singapore and Shanghai, allowing tourists from around the world to appreciate the stunning views from the plane before landing. This big stretch of green not only allows citizens to enjoy the countryside but it is also an enormous urban lung, working relentlessly to provide them with fresh air, lower the temperature of the city and gently contribute to preventing Hong Kong from being submerged in water due to global warming.

Twice as much reclamation in Singapore than in Hong Kong

Hence the country park boundaries are best left unchanged. But the population and economic activities keep expanding in the cities. Shanghai and Guangzhou urbanized their peripheral land. But Hong Kong, like Singapore, cannot find more land for housing so it has to think about the waters - extensive reclamation.

Actually, Hong Kong is much less aggressive than Macau and Singapore in reclamation. In the past 100 years, Macau has 60 per cent of its land from reclamation while Singapore in the past 45 years reclaimed 14,000 hectares of land accounting for 20 per cent of the total area. Hong Kong took about three times as long as Singapore to reclaim only half its amount, making up only six per cent of the total land area. It was almost zero in the past decade. The application for around $200 million dollars to fund strategic research on the creation of a man-made island in the Central Waters between Lantau and Hong Kong Island under planning could not even get past the Public Works Subcommittee of the Legco's Finance Committee.

Must strike a balance between development and conservation

The Our Hong Kong Foundation's report points out that in the coming three decades, Hong Kong will need to develop 9,000 hectares of land which is about three times the size the Shatin new town to deal with demands from population growth. But, projects, whether they are reclamation or northeast New Territories development, have all been obstructed. Though these are all mid- and long-term land supplies, they have to be launched now because land cannot be created overnight.
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Old November 15th, 2015, 03:47 AM   #1960
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Nov 14, 2015
Are there other options than sacrificing green belts for homes?
Hong Kong Economic Journal Excerpt

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying sparked a controversy earlier this week by calling for a study on land use to make way for the construction of affordable housing in country parks.

Even before that, Leung, in his policy address last year, set his sights on 80 green belts for possible conversion into residential land.

Both suggestions drew immediate and harsh criticism from environmental groups.

Interestingly, the “land problem”, a term Leung has used to explain high property prices, has its parallel in Britain’s current housing crisis.

Both in Hong Kong and the UK, green belts and country parks have been placed in the center of debates about freeing more land to boost home supply.

This is no coincidence because laws and policies on designated use of green belts and country parks were introduced by the British colonial government.

We have no intention of discussing whether Hong Kong should be decolonized, as suggested by former deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office Chen Zouer, by discussing policies left behind by the former colonial ruler.

Rather, we think we can learn valuable lessons by studying how the UK handles issues that Hong Kong also faces.

Housing prices in Hong Kong and London are known for being awfully high.

Since Leung took office in July 2012, Hong Kong’s housing prices have soared over 45 percent at the end of June 2015.

Meanwhile, London’s housing prices have risen around 40 percent since 2013.

The gap between escalating housing prices and affordability continues to widen.

*********************************************

In Hong Kong, the Town Planning Ordinance empowers the Town Planning Board to stipulate the designated use of green belts, which is in accordance with the same principle in the UK, although the UK’s is much more comprehensive.

Comparatively, the green belts in Hong Kong are fragmented and their total size is relatively small.

However, country parks account for 40 percent of land in Hong Kong, measuring about 44,300 hectares, while another 35 percent of the land in the city is used for residential purposes.

The Country Park Ordinance, enacted in 1976, provides a legal framework based on a British enactment designating a total of 24 country parks in Hong Kong.

More : http://www.ejinsight.com/20151114-ar...lts-for-homes/
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