| HONG KONG, April 28
HONG KONG, April 28 Private home prices in Hong
Kong, one of the least affordable places in the world, hit a
record high for the fifth month in a row in March, extending its
year-long price surge, according to government data released on
Cooling Hong Kong's red-hot property market will be one of
the top priorities for incoming leader Carrie Lam, who takes
office in July and has vowed to tackle the city's high housing
Home prices in Hong Kong have jumped 364 percent since 2003,
while the median monthly household income has risen just 61
percent, pushing home ownership out of reach for many.
In March, private home prices rose 2.07 percent compared to
the previous month, while year-on-year prices soared 17.8
percent, according to an index compiled by the Rating and
Lam has promised to keep expanding the city's housing
supply, continuing a tactic used by incumbent Chief Executive
The government on Friday said it expects the private market
to provide some 96,000 units in the next three to four years, a
record figure, according to the latest data released by the
Transport and Housing Bureau.
But Lam's task of making housing more affordable could
founder on the bottomless pockets of mainland Chinese
developers, who are bidding up the price of land.
Chinese companies successfully bid for six out of 27 plots
of land sold by the government in the fiscal year starting April
2016, Lands Department data showed. But in money terms, they
accounted for 44 percent of total transactions.
In the previous fiscal year, Chinese firms paid more on land
deals than their Hong Kong competitors, taking up 55 percent of
the value and nearly half of the land sold.
(Reporting by Venus Wu; Editing by Randy Fabi)