Hong Kong’s government is set to sell its first batch of cheap homes under a new programme to help people get on the property ladder in the world’s least affordable housing market.
The “starter homes” in Kowloon, across the harbour from Hong Kong Island, will be priced at about 38 percent below market levels — or around HK$13,000 ($1,662) per square foot, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported, citing unidentified sources. People can apply from January, it said.
The initiative will “accommodate a very small portion of those wanting to get on the housing ladder,” said Denis Ma, head of research at Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.
Another government programme to provide cheap apartments this year saw more than 260,000 applications for 4,431 flats, while home ownership has tumbled to the lowest level in nearly 30 years.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam promised the starter-home program in her inaugural address in 2017, while other initiatives since then include plans to build homes on artificial islands and a vacancy tax on unsold apartments.