Home prices should be kept stable, says John Lee

Hong Kong’s sole chief executive nominee John Lee said on Saturday that he wants to keep home prices steady after he is elected to the top job, because he believed this was best for Hong Kong’s development.

Lee was speaking at a live-televised forum hosted by local media outlets on Saturday evening, where he was asked if he has any plans to help people get on the property ladder sooner.

“We need to maintain stability of property prices, I don’t want to see any major fluctuations,” said Lee.

“And under such situation when we develop our economy, there will be more employment opportunities, more value-adding elements, people can earn more with stable property prices, we have better income, we can afford more,” he continued.

Lee added that he plans to look into how ways to speed up private home construction with developers and streamline the procedures.

The forum came a day after Lee unveiled his manifesto, which included a proposal to let those queuing for public housing to move into new estates even if surrounding infrastructure is not ready.

Lee stressed that the suggestion can offer an option to those in need, after being questioned over the effectiveness of the proposal as low-income families may not be able to afford the extra time and cost to go about their daily lives.

“When I was speaking to different sectors, some people told me that even though it may be less convenient to buy food but they can buy more and at least their living conditions can be better,” he said.

The former chief secretary was also repeatedly pressed on how he would attract talent and address the SAR’s brain drain.

Lee responded that Hong Kong has been and will remain an attractive place for talent especially with the backing of the central government.

“Hong Kong will offer opportunities to every single person to realise their dreams,” pledged he said.

“I, the sixth administration, want to bring to you a government that is going to focus on execution and results.”