Property specialists have advocated measures such as reforming the town-planning process to ease Hong Kong's housing woes, ahead of city leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's policy address on October 6.
Shih Wing-ching, founder of one of the city's biggest real estate agencies Centaline Group, also said it was "far-fetched" to believe Beijing would target and clamp down on property tycoons when their support was needed to solve the housing shortfall.
Shih told a radio programme on Wednesday that sweeping reforms to the town-planning process were needed to boost housing supply and suggested the Town Planning Board give rezoning priority to projects offering a greater number of flats.
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"Members of the Town Planning Board must be willing to place an overwhelming emphasis on boosting the supply of residential flats to the degree that land supply will see an increase," he said.
Shih also added that given the important role property developers played in solving the city's housing issues, it was unlikely Beijing would "clamp down on them" when their support and cooperation were needed to help implement policies smoothly.
"I am not sure how [Beijing] can give directives to property tycoons, as they are not members of the [Communist] Party," Shih said.
"There is no way that [Beijing] would back the city's property developers into a corner. I think the suggestion that the central government is suppressing developers is being overplayed."
Shih's comments followed a Reuters report last week which said Beijing had told the city's powerful property tycoons during closed-door meetings earlier this year to throw their resources and influence behind central government efforts to ease housing woes.
City leader Lam on Tuesday said she could neither confirm nor comment on what she called "rumours", saying only that the central government "cares a lot about Hong Kong's livelihood issues" and that developers had been more cooperative of late.
Several major developers, including Nan Fung Group, Sun Hung Kai, Wheelock and Henderson Land have recently applied under a government public-private partnership scheme to provide more flats.
Another housing expert, executive director of the Federation of Public Housing Estates Anthony Chiu Kwok-wai, called for the government to provide more public rental units for families in need.
The Housing Authority previously revealed Hong Kong families were facing their longest wait in more than two decades for a public flat, with an average mark of 5.8 years.
Chiu said the government could consider more policies to boost turnover rates of public flats, such as incentives to help better-off families living in these units save up for a subsidised flat.
"More well-off families living in public rental housing units used to surrender their flats and move to [purchasing subsidised housing flats], but the property prices nowadays are [higher], and there is a lower supply of subsidised housing," he said.
More from South China Morning Post:
- Carrie Lam says Hong Kong property developers more helpful on housing, but declines to confirm report claiming Beijing making tycoons toe line
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