Open-source intelligence (OSINT)
1. On the contrary to official narrative broadly propagated by real-estate oligarchs (monopoly capitalists of this extremely neoliberal city), the total housing stock in Hong Kong is sufficient for all domestic households in Hong Kong. The total housing stock in Hong Kong does not constitute the so-called 'shortage of supply' that the crony coalition of government and business has been feeding day and night, i.e. according to the latest figures from Census and Statistics Department, the total permanent housing stock in Hong Kong is 2.941 million (end of June 2021) for 2.6952 million households in Hong Kong (September 2021). In addition, according to the latest data from Transport and Housing Bureau, the total permanent housing stock in Hong Kong is 2.913 million (end of March 2020) for 2.645 million households in Hong Kong (March 2020). (1)(2)(3)
In general, the relationship between the total housing stock and the total number of households in entire Hong Kong clearly demonstrates that there is no such thing as an 'overdemand' or 'shortage' of housing in Hong Kong.
If the 'shortage' is really true as corporatist agitators 'STARs' are propagating everyday, the total housing stock in Hong Kong must be less than the total number of households in Hong Kong.
In fact, the indelible truth is systematically and one-sidedly enshrouded by corporatist media machines in order to push their own greedy agendas with 'popular support' from crassly misled sheeple (their victims).
2. Latest number of public housing (rental housing) applicants (demand): 254,500 (September 2021) (4)
Total number of public housing (rental housing) in Hong Kong: 842,200 (June 2021) (5)
Total number of public housing households in Hong Kong: 786,288 (March 2021) (6)
Total number of all kinds of public housing units supplied by the Government (including public rental housing): 1,299,948 (March 2021) (7)
The tension between the gradual piling up of demand (applications) for public housing and the systematically suppressed annual production of public housing units is by no means the origin of the 4 highs (high land prices, high property prices, high rent, high commodity prices). Although it includes the army of speculators who speculate even in public housing, public housing applicants are basically the victims (results) of the 4 highs policy in the private property market, the underprivileged, they are not the culprits of the 4 highs (high land prices, high property prices, high rent, high commodity prices) in Hong Kong. The real estate oligarchs' crony alliance endlessly produces the cause and effect relations, chains of misery. It seems that the ruling 'elites' only cope with result 1, result 2 and result 3, but never dare to touch the cause.
The demand for public housing has several key points below:
a) The demand for public housing and the 4 highs are not essentially related to each other and are not causally related because the demand for public housing has been de-linked from the demand in the private housing market. In other words, the demand for public housing is a change after the demand for private housing has been squeezed out and abandoned because the purchasing power of public housing market does not logically match that of the 4 highs.
b) The constant relationship between the piling up of demand for public housing year after year and the very low rent levels affordable to the grassroots, which are highly controlled by the government, it shows that there is no causal relationship between the supply of public housing per se and the 4 highs (i.e., the piling up of demand for public housing is not a cause, but a consequence). The government will continue to keep rents extremely low and affordable. In other words, even if the supply of public housing increases (and it does increase every year), it will not solve the problem of the 4 highs. (8)
For example, the affordability of public housing rents at the grassroots level.
Although there is a demand for public housing of 254,500 units (September 2021), the corresponding rent level is maintained at a very low level of around HKD 2,300 (ranged from HKD 1,320 - 3,410). This shows that the demand for public housing itself is not the reason for the 4 highs. Instead, the demand for public housing is deliberately piled up to serve a political function/role for the local oligarchy. (9)
c) The political propaganda of the so called 'property hegemony' that 'supply does not meet demand', 'shortage of housing' and call for 'increase in supply' is masking the real cause of the 4 highs such as monopoly, hoarding of land and housing units, and aggressive speculation. The highly suppressed supply of public housing units over the years and the piled up demand for public housing (the result of the 4 highs) are all bound up in the political demands of the real estate hegemony, victims automatically changed into the human hostages, the political bargaining chips. Here, one of the specific forms of speculation is inappropriate housing rental business. Those who are unable to buy or rent private housing in the first place are pushed into the public housing market and have to get in line for six years or more, during which time they are forced to rent various types of inappropriate housing run by speculators. In other words,
As long as Xia Baolong is asking for specific types of unsuitable housing to be banned, it does not affect the real estate oligarchy at all, but only the speculators who operate specific types of unsuitable housing units for rental. The essence of Xia Baolong's theory of expulsion of specific types of unsuitable housing by 2049 is an indirect promise that the real estate hegemony will remain unchanged for 52 years (1997-2049).
d) The types of unsuitable accommodation in Hong Kong are not only about the two types mentioned by Xia Baolong on July 16, 2021 (sub-divided units and cage homes), but also bedspace, cubicles or rooftop houses or nano flats or tenement buildings or squatter huts or dangerous buildings in the various state (e.g., the 50-year life span of a building) etc. in Hong Kong. Admittedly, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office seriously lacks specific analysis of specific situations. The land and housing issue (real estate hegemony) is already a national security issue that is spreading all over China as the governing model for local provinces. National security personnel must not just be the bodyguards/security guards of the system (national security is not the same as just anti-terrorism, anti-foreign military operations, should not dwarf the concept of national security), but need to further focus on the political, economic and livelihood issues in various areas of society (the real national security issues) to carry out specific analysis of the specific situation and propose solutions to the decision makers. We should not blindly and childishly listen to the so-called 'elites' (agents) of the oligarchic crony coalition (the basis of elitism is obscurantism and seeing masses as an ignorant mob), their 'purchased' titles including NPC, CPPCC, HKSAR government, holders of public office in the Legislative Council, District Councils, statutory bodies, advertisers, media reporters (who are often nothing more than marketing staff for specific interest groups), paid writers, societies/NGOs, trade unions, chambers of commerce, think tanks, etc. The biggest political resistance to solving the land and housing problem in Hong Kong is the expanding coalition of reactionary forces since the British Hong Kong colonial era. (10)
3, 'New Prospect for Hong Kong' is a new real estate party. Zhang Xinyu, a candidate for the Legislative Council in the New Territories North who was indirectly mentioned by Xia Baolong on December 6, 2021, was not only nominated by one of the hegemonic property developers, Justin Chiu Kwok-hung, the executive director of Cheung Kong Holdings, but also openly advocated 'using about HK$300 billions of fiscal reserves to acquire about 2,600 hectares of abandoned agricultural land in the New Territories North of Hong Kong. This is exactly what the hoarding of agricultural land in the New Territories is all about. This is exactly the 'policy' desired by the property oligarchy that hoards agricultural land in the New Territories. ('cooperation between government and business'; collusion; government-business co-rule), i.e. the property oligarchies first collect land at low prices in the New Territories and hoard it in large quantities, and then approach the government to propose the development of 'new town planning' so that the government 'can acquire' the hoarded land at high prices or ask the government to develop peripheral infrastructure facilities for the property oligarchs. This is how they cause 4 highs skilfully. (11)(12)
4. Before further deregulation of Cap. 545 Land (Compulsory Sale for Redevelopment) Ordinance, adapting the Cap. 124 Lands Resumption Ordinance (IMPERIAL SWORD) against the relatively poor small owners who oppose 'redevelopment' has in fact been repeatedly shown this year. It is expected to be used against the real estate hegemony to re-allocate their hoarded land and buildings for public purpose, but instead, the so called IMPERIAL SWORD has been misappropriated and reduced to the real estate hegemony's IMPERIAL SWORD!
'Increasing supply' (housing shortage) and 'removing barriers' (deregulation):
Giving more cakes to the real estate oligarchs is the 'solution' to the land and housing problem?
In short, there is no such thing as an 'overdemand' of housing in Hong Kong, where the total housing stock is sufficient. Moreover, the systematic piling up of demand for public housing is not the origin of the 4 highs (high land prices, high property prices, high rent, high commodity prices), but the result of it. The artificially accumulated demand for public housing is met by extremely low government-controlled rents. First the inability / unaffordability to move into private housing, and then the systematic drive of those who do move into public housing market ends up in unsuitable housing by speculators (which is also a result/product of the 4 highs). Even the so-called "farewell to sub-divided units and caged homes" theory of Xia Baolong not only shows that the HKMAO lacks concrete studies on the specific situation of Hong Kong's land and housing problems, but also indirectly expresses the promise that the property hegemony will remain unchanged for at least 52 years (1997-2049).
Moreover, New Prospect for Hong Kong (New Property Party), a new political party indirectly mentioned by Xia Baolong, not only receives nominations from the real estate oligarchy, but also advocates that the government should use public money to buy a lot of agricultural land hoarded by the real estate oligarchs in the New Territories (a repeat of the 1982 Mightycity speculation case in Tin Shui Wai; this is exactly what the Northern Metropolis Development Strategy is about). The real estate oligarchs hoarded land firstly in order to tell the government to develop the surrounding infrastructure to raise its land prices and property prices (so called 'government-business cooperation' = 'fake land donation' is a specific term, the demand for public housing being pushed out is its policy hostage, bargaining chips), in exchange for only some public housing construction. The second is to acquire a large amount of land at bargain prices and then approach the government to propose a 'new urban plan' so that the government is forced to acquire the land that the property oligarch has hoarded in large quantities.
The so-called 'deregulation' (the so called neoliberalism), to be precise, is to remove barriers and remove restrictions for the property oligarchies and speculators (including the native landowners) by 'dismantling the bureau' and 'streamlining' the process of finding land for housing construction (in fact accelerating the process of monopoly, hoarding and speculation). They have used Cap. 545 Land (Compulsory Sale for Redevelopment) Ordinance and advocated the amendment to Cap. 97 New Territories Ordinance to seize property at low prices. Furthermore, Cap. 124 Lands Resumption Ordinance, which is supposed to deal with the hoarding practice of the real estate oligarchs, has been used to buy out the property rights of the disadvantaged small property owners, thus becoming the imperial sword of the real estate hegemony (and they will have further changed Cap. 545 Land (Compulsory Sale for Redevelopment) Ordinance).
All of the above is seriously lacking in the necessary measures against monopoly, hoarding, and speculation, and the large coalition of vested interests in the monopoly system keeps expanding the 'pro-establishment' chambers of commerce, think tanks, media, academics, financial KOLs, political parties, and labor aristocrats (so-called 'labor representatives'), the network of organizations such as societies, NGOs, statutory bodies, the CPPCC, the People's Congress, bureaucrats, and so on, are all engaged in a revolving door monopoly of crony capitalism (similar to fascism/ corporatism of Mussolini's Italy or Salazar's Portugal, especially the latter's National Alliance). What can the workers expect from the Hong Kong version of the National Alliance?
The solution to Hong Kong's housing problem is definitely not to 'give more cakes to the real estate oligarchies' as suggested by the cronies of the real estate oligarchies (such as 'increase supply' and 'tear down walls and loosen restrictions'), but rather it is a national policy of anti-monopoly, anti-hoarding, and anti-speculation (housing without speculation) for the common good (which is still a corrective policy in the realm of capitalism, and Hong Kong needs to realize it more than the mainland).
For example, there are currently enough housing units in Hong Kong to accommodate all Hong Kong families. If the real estate oligarchs were forced to allocate the existing large number of hoarded/vacant housing units to all families waiting for public housing at public housing rental prices, Hong Kong's housing problem could be solved quickly within a year, and there would be no need to find more land for housing construction. Why not make use of the so-called 'institutional advantage'?
Hong Kong's housing problem is not a supply problem, but a problem of how to allocate housing effectively.
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