One million ﬂats needed to meet growing demand in Hong Kong by 2046
South China Morning Post
By: Shirley Zhao & Ernest Kao
22 November 2016
Hong Kong will need one million flats in the next three decades to
accommodate household growth, non-locals and displacement caused by
redevelopment projects, according to a long-term land planning report
issued by the government.
The report, released as a supplement to the 2030 Plus long-term
strategy for planning and development beyond 2030, also projects that
the average flat size in the private housing sector would be 646 sq ft
in net or saleable floor area by 2046.
The calculation is based on flat sizes growing 6% over the past 32
years. The current average size for planned new town housing
developments is 620 sq ft.
Based on the projections, the report concludes that the city will need
1,670 hectares of land for housing by 2046, with only 1,440 hectares
This is the first time that the government has specified the target
date of 2046, a year before the end of the five decades that Beijing
has promised to keep the city’s way of life unchanged.
“[The projection] has not taken into account any home space
enhancement, despite the general community’s aspiration for improving
living quality ... any inclusion of home space enhancement would imply
additional housing land requirement,” the report said.
460,000 flats to be built by 2026
It projects the need for 460,000 flats to be built by 2026, an estimate
raised in the Long Term Housing Strategy Annual Progress Report last
From 2026 to 2046, Hong Kong will need 540,000 flats
From 2026 to 2046, Hong Kong will need 540,000 flats to accommodate
household growth, families displaced by redevelopment projects, and
non-local students, workers and buyers.
The report also estimates that with average flat sizes growing at a
rate of 6% over the past three decades, 60% of private flats in the
city will measure between 517 sq ft and 689 sq ft, compared with the
As for public housing, the report said the Housing Authority would
continue with the current average of 431 sq ft for the long term.
But Chau Kwong-wing, a property expert at the University of Hong Kong,
called on the government to tell the public whether it believed the
flat size expansion rate would be enough to improve people’s living
standards. He said even after the expansion, the average flat size was
still too small compared to other cities around the world.
Chau also questioned whether the government could provide enough land in attractive locations to meet demand.
The 2030 Plus blueprint, released last month for a half-year-long
public consultation exercise, recommended two large-scale new town
developments in the northern New Territories and on reclaimed land to
the east of Lantau Island – which could provide 1,720 hectares – to
meet a projected shortfall of 1,200 hectares for housing and economic
Regarding strong opposition against the Lantau reclamation, outgoing
planning director Ling Kar-kan, who will be succeeded by Raymond Lee
Kai-wing today, said any large-scale new town development was bound to
meet opposition from many groups whose interests were affected.
He said families who might potentially move into the new towns would
not have foreseen their future, so they would not have voiced their
support at the planning stage.
“This is an eternal predicament for planners,” Ling said. “But if we
give up on the projects because of the opposition, the long-term
benefits will never materialise.”
Additional reporting by Ernest Kao