HONG KONG: Hong Kong property developer New World Development said on Monday (Dec 6) it plans to sell 300 new homes at a discount of roughly 50 per cent to the market price in the city's first subsidised private housing project.
As part of a move to provide more affordable housing in one of the world's most expensive property markets, New World said it would require a down payment of just 5 per cent of the unit price.
The move comes after New World said in September it was launching a research project called New World Build for Good to tackle a chronic housing shortage in the city.
"This may be a small first step, but it is an important one that we hope will encourage other Hong Kong corporations to join us in creating similar projects and give back to the community," New World Development CEO Adrian Cheng said in a statement.
Once the proposal was approved by the government, New World would build 300 one- to three-bedroom flats ranging in size from 300 to 550 sq ft in the New Territories West district.
The estimated cost of each unit would be roughly HK$2.7 million (US$346,287) to HK$4.95 million and priority would be given to Hong Kong residents aged between 25 and 45 who are first-time homebuyers.
Making housing more affordable has been a priority for all of Hong Kong's leaders since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997, although the prospect of owning a home is a distant dream for many.
In September, Reuters reported Beijing had given a new mandate to the city's powerful tycoons in a series of meetings this year that they should pour resources and influence into helping solve the destabilising housing shortage.
Beijing has partly blamed the conglomerates' "monopolistic behaviour" for the city's housing woes, which it believes played a big role in stirring discontent with the government and fuelling protests in 2019.