In a response to Hong Kong government's report, 'Land for Hong Kong: Our Home, Our Say', RICS proposes that they should release the development potential of the land in Kowloon and New Territories, speed-up land reclamation and invest more funds to tackle the city’s land-supply issue.
After three months' consultation within the built environment in Hong Kong, RICS has consolidated a 12-page response offering recommendations to ensure progress. The submission focuses on making room for residential land, and increasing the supply of land for commercial use. This, in turn, would facilitate business growth and improve market stability. RICS also calls for a review of development prospects in village areas of the New Territories.
RICS called on the government to explore ways to increase the density of homes in Kowloon and, especially, the New Territories, bringing housing-density levels closer to those found on Hong Kong Island. This should include more efficiently deploying existing public-housing resources with lower plot ratio than the current permissible ratio applied to private development. Such measures would help reduce the existing waiting time for public housing, while also addressing urban decay. RICS suggests creating incentives, such as awarding bonus plots, to make regeneration projects appealing and financially feasible to developers.
In the New Territories, the government has identified 3,380 hectares of land for re-zoning under the existing Small House Policy, which allocates land for housing to eligible male adults of indigenous village communities. RICS advocates creating greater development intensity, and exploring the potential to develop public housing, within existing "Village Type Development" zones.
Meanwhile developers often cite the lengthy lease modification and land exchange application processes as the greatest hurdle in developing private land. RICS proposes a review of the current process to speed-up development — particularly in the New Territories — where private developers possess greater than 1,000 hectares of underutilised agricultural land and 1,300 hectares of brownfield sites.
RICS also proposes that government should establish a more comprehensive land-stock-tracking process. It is necessary to a build a more extensive land bank or reserve list, as well as a more thorough timetable, which documents the various concurrent land-supply opportunities in process, to better plan for the future and realise the greatest housing-supply benefit.
RICS supports land reclamation as a means to increasing land supply but urges government to "hasten the commissioning of the necessary feasibility and planning studies".
Moreover, RICS advises that the proposed East Lantau Metropolis reclamation be developed as a logistics hub, rather than a business district, in order to raise Hong Kong’s regional competitiveness. The land occupied by the current Kwai Tsing Container Terminals could then be freed up for development as a new "CBD3" business district, proposed by an earlier RICS recommendation to Hong Kong 2030+ strategy.
RICS has called on the government to invest more resources to speed-up land supply development, planning and feasibility studies, and supports proposals to create and fund a Special Purpose Vehicle responsible for propelling land supply and development.
Head of Corporate Affairs, East Asia
Jeanie leads the Corporate Affairs team of RICS in East Asia region which covers Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and Macau. She manages RICS' brand development and recognition in the region in terms of communications, events, media relations, and policy engagement. She also ensures strategic alignment of regional activities with RICS' recognition objectives.