Hong Kong Will Add Artificial Islands to Tackle Housing Crisis

(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong will add artificial islands to tackle a runaway housing market known as the world’s least affordable. Chief Executive Carrie Lam unveiled the plans in a policy address Wednesday that also included boosting public housing.

Key Insights

  • The measures won’t in the short term ease a housing crisis that Lam acknowledged as the city’s biggest challenge
  • Lam avoided some of the most contentious ideas for boosting land supply, like converting land next to country parks, but the scale of the island plans may stoke environmental concerns
  • Boosting the public housing ratio to 70 percent of new land supply won’t solve the city’s chronic affordability issues

Market Reaction

The Hang Seng Properties Index was up 0.4 percent as of 11:49 a.m, in line with the performance of the broader Hang Seng Index.

Digging Deeper

  • Lam, who was greeted by protesting lawmakers, said the government would not tolerate acts advocating Hong Kong’s independence and threatening China’s sovereignty
  • Lam will listen to views on national security law Article 23 and explore ways to enable the society to respond positively
  • The government is banning e-cigarettes and extending maternity leave to 14 weeks for its employees

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