Hong Kong and Dragon Influence

Independent academic commentators concur that Hong Kong, alongside the other ‘Dragon’ economies, has exerted a considerable influence on mainland Chinese urban housing development over the last two to three decades (Chiu 2008, 2010, interviewees). The notion of a strongly proactive state promoting housing development, including through direct involvement in the land ownership and development as well as the planning process, is common, as is the use of leasehold as the standard form of land tenure. The HK practice of auctioning site leases (use rights) was belatedly adopted (in 2002), after it was realised developers were making excess profits on fixed-price sales (Wang et al. 2013, p. 248). Promotion of home ownership as the majority tenure is clearly a common element, including forms of subsidised ‘low cost’ home ownership. However, it may be observed that perhaps the Singapore model, with its overall emphasis on subsidising home ownership rather than public rented housing, has been more influential than Hong Kong. Influence on practice at a more detailed level may be discerned through the role of Hong Kong’s Higher Education Institutions and the professional education (not to mention consultancy) which they provide in planning, real estate and housing management.

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