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Hong Kong government mulls affordable homes requirements for developers

Developers in Hong Kong may be required to set aside "starter home" units in addition to private housing units under new proposals being considered by the government, London's Financial Times reported, citing Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

In her first policy address during her term, Lam said the government's initial thinking is to incorporate provisions in the land lease to require developers to pursue mixed developments, with the requirement of building and offering for sale a specified number of affordable "starter homes" for middle-class families that would be a type of government-subsidized flats.

Details of the scheme are expected to be finalized and announced in mid-2018 after discussions with the relevant sectors, Lam said, according to the transcript of the speech. A pilot version of the scheme is expected to be launched by the end of 2018 at a residential site at Anderson Road, Kwun Tong.

The upper-income limit for the new scheme will be no more than HK$34,000 for singles and $68,000 for households with two or more members.

Hong Kong ranks among the world's most expensive property markets, with prices jumping 21.5% year over year in the 12 months to June, FT noted in its Oct. 11 report, citing Knight Frank.