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8 Mar 2017

Survey Findings on Attitudes towards Land Searching for Housing in Hong KongReleased by Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at CUHK

8 Mar 2017
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A telephone survey was conducted from 22 to 26 February 2017 by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong to gauge public attitudes toward housing land supply in Hong Kong.  730 respondents aged 18 or above were successfully interviewed with a response rate of 37.9%.  The sampling error is + or –3.63% at a confidence level of 95%.

Major findings are summarized as follows: 

The respondents were first asked about the best way to increase land supply for housing in Hong Kong.  The survey results showed that more respondents chose “developing brownfield sites” (27.5%) than “transforming some land originally for non-residential purposes to residential land” (20.4%), “developing the periphery of country parks” (18.1%), “land reclamation in the area other than the Victoria Harbour” (13.0%), and “speed up urban renewal by increasing compensation” (10.7%). 

The current Policy Address proposed to allocate “a small proportion of land on the periphery of country parks with relatively low ecological and public enjoyment value for purposes other than real estate development, such as public housing and non-profit-making elderly homes”.  The survey findings indicated that about 51.3% of the respondents supported this proposal, while 39.9% did not. 

There are different views on developing country parks for housing in the community.  When asked if they agree with the view that “the need for housing is important than protecting country parks”, about 54.3% of the respondents provided an affirmative answer and another 36.0% did not.  On the other hand, while 57.0% agreed with the view that “developing country parks will have an irreversible negative impact on Hong Kong’s ecological environment”, 32.8% disagreed. 

When asked if “developing the periphery of country parks” can help resolve the insufficient land supply for housing in Hong Kong, about 42.1% gave a positive answer while 45.4% held the opposite view.  Moreover, whereas 47% of the respondents thought “developing the periphery of country parks” will bring Hong Kong more good than harm, 36.% did not think so and the rest 15.8% rated “half-half”. 

The respondents were also asked about the frequency of country park visiting in the past year. The survey results indicated that whereas 57.1% of the respondents did not go to any country park in the past year, 27.6% visited “once to 5 times”.  Another 6.2% and 7.0% went there “6 to 10 times” and “more than 10 times” respectively. 

A series of sub-group analyses were conducted to detect whether socio-demographic backgrounds (gender, age and educational attainment) and frequency of visiting country parks have any significant effect on support for the proposal in the Policy Address about “developing the periphery of country parks”.  The sub-group analyses showed that: (1) older respondents were more likely to support the proposal than their younger counterparts (e.g. 74.0% of the respondents aged 51 and above supported the proposal, whereas the support rate was 38.3% among the age group of 18-29); (2) respondents with a higher level of educational attainment was less supportive than those with a lower level of educational attainment (e.g. tertiary level of education: 45.3%; primary and below: 79.5%); and (3) there was a negative relationship between the frequency of visiting country parks and support for the proposal (e.g. for those who did not visit country parks in the past year, the support rate was about 59.6%, but the corresponding rate for those who visited country parks more than 6 times was only 44.1%). 

In conclusion, the survey findings reflected that the Hong Kong public are still divided concerning where to find land for housing (particularly with regard to developing the periphery of country parks).  It is expected that the Government will face challenges and resistance when she attempts to resolve the problem of insufficient land supply for housing.