Hong Kong's House-Price Curbs Aren't Working, Carrie Lam Says

By Frederik Balfour / Bloomberg | December 23, 2017 9:57 PM SGT
Hong Kong’s red-hot housing market can’t be tamed.
For the first time since taking office in July, Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam has said government measures to cool the world’s most-expensive property market haven’t worked.
“It’s impossible for the government to curb property prices,” Lam said in an interview with Radio Television Hong Kong. “Despite the several rounds of cooling measures by the government, prices didn’t drop. Some even suggested that those measures had pushed up prices instead,” she said.
Secondary housing prices have climbed 14 percent this year, fueled by cheap money and demand from mainland buyers.
After taking the city’s top job, Lam said meeting the public’s housing needs remains the “top priority,” yet her maiden policy speech in October failed to spell out proposals to boost land supply or detail a highly anticipated plan to accelerate the conversion of farm land into homes. She reiterated her intention to resolve the shortage of housing supply in the RTHK interview though didn’t specify that would arrest price rises.
This story, written by Frederik Balfour for Bloomberg, first appeared on Dec 22.