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LCQ11: Statistics on non-owner occupied households of private domestic properties
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     Following is a question by the Hon Lee Wing-tat and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Ms Eva Cheng, in the Legislative Council today (Nov 10):

Question:

     In his 2010-2011 Policy Address, the Chief Executive announced the implementation of "My Home Purchase Plan" (MHPP) in the hope of facilitating people who have not bought their own home to reach their wish for home ownership.  Regarding the statistics on non-owner occupied households living in private flats (non-owner occupied households) and other households which may be eligible for applying for MHPP, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the respective numbers of non-owner occupied households in Hong Kong in the first and second quarters of 2010, with a breakdown by the items in the table below (set out in Annex 1 Table 1);

(b) of the respective percentages of the numbers of various types of non-owner occupied households in (a)(i) to (vii) in the total numbers of non-owner occupied households of the relevant household sizes in (a)(viii) in the first and second quarters in 2010, with a breakdown by the items in the table below (set out in Annex 1 Table 2);

(c) of the 25th percentile, the median and the 75th percentile monthly income of non-owner occupied households in Hong Kong in the first and second quarters in 2010 respectively, with a breakdown by the items in the table below (set out in Annex 1 Table 3);

(d) of the respective monthly incomes of the 10th percentile of the non-owner occupied households in Hong Kong in the first and second quarters in 2010, and every 10 percentage points thereafter up to the 100th percentile, with a breakdown by the items in the table below (set out in Annex 1 Table 4); and

(e) given that the authorities have considered initially that the eligibility criteria for MHPP include the income and asset limits for singleton applicants which are $23,000 per month and $300,000 respectively and those for household applicants which are $39,000 per month and $600,000 respectively, of the numbers of eligible households for MHPP estimated by the authorities in the first and second quarters in 2010 respectively?

Reply:

President,

     We provide as requested the statistical information as supplied by the Census and Statistics Department in accordance with the findings of its General Household Survey (GHS)

(a) The respective numbers of non-owner occupied households in Hong Kong in the first and second quarters of 2010, with a breakdown by income range are listed in Annex 2 Table 1 and Table 2;

(b) The respective percentages of the numbers of non-owner occupied households of various income ranges in the total numbers of non-owner occupied households by household size in the first and second quarters in 2010 are listed in Annex 2 Table 3 and Table 4;

(c) The 25th percentile, the median and the 75th percentile monthly income of non-owner occupied households in Hong Kong by household size in the first and second quarters of 2010 are listed in Annex 2 Table 5 and Table 6;

(d) Tenth percentiles of monthly incomes of non-owner occupied households in private housing in Hong Kong by households size in the first and second quarters in 2010 are listed in Annex 2 Table 7 and Table 8;

(e) Among respondents who expressed views on the target group for receiving subsidy during the public consultation exercise on subsidising home ownership, relatively more suggested subsidising sandwich class or first-time property purchasers. It is generally considered that the beneficiaries should be those who can afford mortgage payments in the long run.  Our proposal for the income and asset limits for White Form applicants under "My Home Purchase Plan (MHPP)" is premised on this principle, and reflects our initial thinking only. The Hong Kong Housing Society will take into account the then prevailing market conditions when determining the income and asset limits before the commencement of pre-letting of the proposed project at Tsing Luk Street.

     Given that MHPP aims to help first-time home buyers, there will be stringent eligibility criteria.  Our current thinking is that applicants and other family members on the application forms should not have owned any residential properties for a period of ten years prior to the closing of the pre-letting application period.  Those who have in the past joined any form of Government subsidised home purchase schemes (e.g. Home Ownership Scheme/Private Sector Participation Scheme, Tenants Purchase Scheme, Sandwich Class Housing Scheme, and the various home purchase loan schemes) are not eligible for MHPP.

     It is estimated that in the first quarter of 2010, there were about 174,000 non-owner occupied households in private housing with monthly income exceeding the Public Rental Housing Waiting List Income Limits and equals to or less than $23,000 (for one person) or equals to or less than $39,000 (for two persons or more).  In the second quarter of 2010, there were about 178,000 such households.  However, the figures could not be construed to represent the number of eligible households.

     It should be noted that the above figures only reflect the number of households which meet the income limits as proposed by us initially.  Given that apart from income, the eligibility criteria for MHPP will also include other restrictions such as asset limit, previous property ownership and whether the applicant joined any form of subsidised home purchase schemes in the past, the above figures therefore do not represent the number of eligible households for MHPP. We do not have information on individual households' assets and ownership of properties, and whether they joined any form of subsidised home purchase schemes before. Hence, it is not possible for us to assess precisely the size of the eligible households for MHPP.  

Ends/Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Issued at HKT 15:19

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