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Property News Weekly Digest
〈Asian Post, October 12, 2019〉Industry group proposes the government issue tradeable bonds in exchange for privately held plots.

A property industry body has proposed a scheme under which the government could take over some private land plots in exchange for tradeable "land bonds", as a means of easing the city's housing crisis.

〈Asian Post , October 11, 2019〉Hong Kong Real Property Federation said it planned to meet the government in the coming days to put forward its suggestion for possible inclusion in the policy address by Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, which is due on October 16.

"Society has a consensus that the land problem can wait no longer," said John Yip, representative of the professional committee at the federation, which comprises developers, construction firms, surveyors, architects and planners.

to HK$10.5 billion will be available to repair ageing flats and help replace some 8,000 lifts

The government will launch a HK$10.5 billion package for owners to repair 5,000 old buildings across the city and replace 8,000 lifts in them.

The generous scheme, announced yesterday by the Development Bureau, will address social needs considering the popular demand and is "not [aimed] to ease social tension", bureau chief Michael WongWai-lun says.

"But if it helps in the end, it's a good thing to our community," he adds.

The sum comprises four initiatives dedicated to building repairs, because more than 6,800, or 20 per cent of the total private residential blocks are 50 years old or older.

〈The Standard, October 10, 2019〉A Two room flat at the benchmark property, Taikoo Shing in Quarry Bay, changed hands for HK$9.84 million.

The last time a comparable unit sold below HK$10 million was in January, but the transaction fell through. The previous successful comparable purchase was in 2016.

The flat sold for HK$16,962 per saleable sq ft, a 30 percent drop from last year's peak period, after HK$962,000 was cut from the original asking price released a week ago.

A similar unit sold for HK$13.8 million, or HK$23,793 per saleable sq ft during last year's peak, while another changed hands for HK$10.43 million in 2017. The former owner gained 51.4 percent more than the purchase price in 2012.

〈China Daily, October 10, 2019〉CK Asset Holdings will sell its first new project of the year at as much as 10 per cent below a nearby rival development as it looks to draw buyers in a market rattled by four months of street protests.

The first 180 flats at Seaside Sonata in Cheung Sha Wan will be priced at an average of HK$18,688 per square foot, with unit sizes from 488 sq ft to 785 sq ft. The project, comprising 876 flats in four towers, is scheduled for completion in June 2021.

The pricing is up to 10.4 per cent cheaper than Henderson Land Development's The Addition, which launched in March in the same neighbourhood at an average price of HK$20,850 per square foot.

Henderson launched its project - due for completion in April 2021 - in March, before the spate of street protests crimped retail sales and drove visitors away from the city began in June.

"Buyers will find this price acceptable," said CK Asset executive director Justin Chiu, pointing to the project's starting price at HK$14,054 per square foot as "the cheapest" in the city. "We always consider the market's sentiment when we set the price," he said

〈The Standard , October 10, 2019〉Owners of farmland in North District and New Territories West have been increasing their land reserves, anticipating acquisitions once the government uses the Lands Resumption Ordinance to fulfill public housing objectives, according to market surveyors.

The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong urged the government last month to invoke the ordinance to increase the amount of short- to middle-term land available for public housing in new development areas.

Many landlords have suspended plans to turn their farmland into industrial estates or warehouses, said an industry insider engaged in warehouse construction and who would only give his name as Lam, citing privacy concerns.

Data from the Task Force on Land Supply shows there are about 1,300 hectares of private brownfield land in the New Territories, in addition to no less than 1,000 hectares of farmland owned by major developers.