To understand how the general public views home ownership and to listen to their advice regarding this issue, the DAB held a phone survey from January 4th to 13th that managed to gather 641 eligible respondents aged 18 and over.
52.4% of respondents support the government’s emphasis on encouraging home ownership. Even though 27.7% of respondents said that they planned to own homes within 3 years, but only 20.9% of these had confidence that this would actually happen. We believe that this is related with high property prices, down payments that are difficult to pay off and lack of confidence in their future earnings.
What policy can assist local first-time home buyers to get on the wagon, so to speak? 63.3% of survey respondents felt that Sale of Home Ownership Scheme Flats should be regularly implemented from now on and 53.1% were in favour of the government’s scheme for local first-time homebuyers. Exemption from stamp duties for first-time home buyers and exemption from mortgage insurance premiums for first-time home buyers were favoured by 64.1% and 57.6% respectively.
We feel that currently the housing supply is overstretched. Add to this the need for large amounts of investment and the government’s loosening of demand-side management measures may have an adverse effect on first-time home buyers. However, we feel that with the large surplus we have, the government can encourage home ownership through various measures such as lengthening the mortgage guarantee period for Sale of Home Ownership Scheme Flats and allowing purchasers to receive at least a 25 year mortgage repayment period. At the same time, we propose the government to exempt all property stamp duties and mortgage insurance premiums for first-time home buyers. For example, a housing unit costing $5 million with 80% loan-to-value ratio, it will save a first-time buyer $230,000 if he/she is exempted from property stamp duties and mortgage insurance premiums which is approximately 5% of the cost of the property.
Media Inquiries: Legislative Councilor and DAB Spokesperson on Housing Wilson Or (9266 1035)
Tsuen Wan District Councilor and Vice-spokesperson on Housing Jones Chan (9490 2700)