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designing hong kong
We have no shortage of flats.
Hong Kong has 2.4 million residential units but only 2.35 million families. The only reason prices are going up is speculation driven by interest rates which are lower than inflation.

How about changing demographics?
We need bigger flats but there are other factors. Look to the European example, where countries are coping with a declining birth rate and a shortage of smaller homes. What we need are flats of the same size designed for fewer people.

We should shrink - not enlarge - our footprint.
The real problem is that our developments are badly designed. With better design tenants can better utilize available space. We also need no-frills one-bedroom studios with a kitchen and bathroom (200 - 250sq.ft) for singletons. More people are living independently.

There is an environmental cost to pay for building larger.
We have little land resources. Bigger flats means building higher or eating into the rural and country park areas. We should resolve the problems with the Heung Yee Kuk so that we can make better use of brown field sites and properly design villages in the New Territories.

Cut unnecessary luxury to reduce cost and prices.
I doubt that developers will design larger flats for less money than what they are willing to pay (normal market prices). Space is much too precious here. One thing they could do is shy away from luxury features to reduce prices.

Build smaller flats.
A reduced supply of smaller flats will make them more expensive. It is not certain that people will trade up to larger flats. We need to build more small flats.

Affordability is the key.
If you examine recent primary market flats, this larger size phenomenon is quite obvious even without government intervention but the desirable effects as you would like to see may not (yet) occur!

Prices will go up if the supply of smaller flats is reduced.
You can see a shortage of larger flats on market that is why the prices per sq.ft. is high. If we produce fewer small flats people will speculate and push up the price of small flats.

Reduce land premiums under the Home Ownership Scheme.
Another way the government could help with the first time buyers is to reduce land premiums on resale of HOS flats.

Hong Kong is not Singapore
.
This is not Singapore. Our population is much bigger. Why do Hong Kong people who do not own property always complain about the property market? They only want something for free. A flat in London or New York, Shanghai or Beijing is more expensive and smaller than in Hong Kong: 40-70 sq. m. and 2 - 3 times more expensive.

Let the market decide.
Government should not specify apartment sizes in land leases. Let the developers decide how best to optimize the product mix, and in turn this will optimize the public revenue for a given amount of land area.

Affordability is a matter of land supply, not the size of flats.
You should call for the auction of more land and a restructuring of land revenues by increasing ground rents (as % of rate-able value, currently 3%) to reduce up-front premia. This will reduce capital barriers to entry for the development sector and help bust the property cartel and their profit margins.

Excellent point but quite intractable!
That's what C.Y. Leung has been talking about without offering solutions. However, the real issue is not new flats, but the vast existing housing stock.

HK has sufficient small flats.
I agree that introducing larger flats would entice those able to afford such to sell their existing small flat, thus putting more small flats on the market and in the process allow first time buyers to enter the market.

People want bigger living spaces.
Fully agree with your observation that the higher per square feet price of the bigger flat clearly indicates that people prefer bigger flat than the shoe-box size "smaller" flat.

Bigger flats = better life's quality in HK!
Bigger living space is what HK people are dying for. Current planning squeezes us into tiny boxes. Government's budget speech turns the facts upside down. They assume we enjoy to be "trapped" in a small space.

A new policy is long overdue.
Right after WW II HK was overwhelmed by an influx of refugees. It was sensible to provide many flats as fast as possible. To limit the size was an economic necessity. Today, the small flat policy has become a convenient way to "tax" citizens and to fill the pockets of a very few oligopolies (developers). A new policy is overdue if HK wants to keep her international competitiveness as a services provider and regional business and cultural hub. To improve living conditions is not a luxury but an investment in HK's future.

Build bigger flats for sure.
It is a disgrace that in an affluent society like Hong Kong's , people have to squash into ridiculously small spaces.

If I could afford it..
I would trade up to a larger unit and sell the current smaller unit. As economic theory shows us - an increase in supply will decrease the price when supply exceeds demand.

Please, build flats bigger.
Grant everyone the opportunity of a better quality of life. It will take time to increase the average flat size, but the sooner we start the better for all of Hong Kong.

It is time.
The big developers have decided the policy for Hong Kong.  It is now time for Government to manage the property sector better.

Thank you.
Good morning! I have always believed the same, that Hong Kong needs more bigger flats. Even at 70-100 sq. ft. they are still not BIG, they are just BIGGER than the shoe box sized ones that are springing up everywhere.

People want affordable, not small, flats.
Hong Kong aims to be a creative, innovative place that attracts and keeps wealth creating, productive and healthy citizens. To do this it needs to offer a lifestyle that at least equals other cities like Singapore. Also, crowding people into small spaces is likely to cause social problems.

If Hong Kong wants to compete on the world stage...
As a premier city Hong Kong must start to shed it's 1960's "factory" identity. The population of Hong Kong has moved from a fairly uneducated average to a very well educated average. Furthermore, many of our populace have lived, worked, traveled or been educated abroad. The only reason we do not have a massive "brain drain" problem is that our tax base is so low! Otherwise, many people, having seen first hand how others live, would no doubt prefer a house in Sydney or flat in London for their money. 3 million HKD will buy you quite a lot in other cities around the world. In HK it will buy you very little.

It is obvious that people would like to live in better spaces if only they could afford to do so. The very steep prices for large flats are evidence of this. But what can a young professional family or someone in his/her early thirties with a reasonable income afford? Someone who has to save 30% of the deposit just to buy at all? Older flats are becoming more popular as our more global population switches on to the benefits of having some space.

The government should absolutely encourage more flats in the 1,400 sq.ft. to 2,000 sq.ft. range (and, in saying that, I mean USABLE space, not liftwell, carpark. cupboards inclusive) to be built. This will, in turn, create a turnover in the market making it easier for first home buyers to buy the smaller flats and allowing an option for them to move up too once they have the means or need to do so.

Landlord - Tenant Law needed.
We obviously need reasonable priced larger and better built flats. Given the percentage of renters we also need a law that protects the interests of tenants.

The arrogance of John Tsang is beyond description.
It is imperative to start to create a supply of decent-sized housing at affordable prices. This Government (and admittedly its predecessors) is wholly in thrall to local property developers. If only we had an Administration with even a modicum of principle.

This is a serious issue.
HK is really beginning to lose its edge, even to a place like Shenzhen! Who would have thought! Shocking Government short-sightedness.
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