Hong Kong Real Estate
Smoke rises from a chimney among houses as new high-rise residential buildings are seen under construction (Photo: Reuters / Petar Kujundzic)

Hong Kong real estate giant Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) filed an application to the city's Town Planning Board to increase the capacity of two of its residential projects.

The company, the city's largest developer, reportedly wants to increase its projects' capacity by as much as 56 percent to help the government tackle the ongoing housing crisis.

According to its application, which was submitted on Friday, SHKP wants to increase the capacity of its Yuen Long project from 455 units to 1,995 units. The project's 455 large flat units, which have an average area of 2,000 square feet, will be reduced to have an average unit size of 484 square feet.

SHKP mentioned that its Yuen Long project will be designed to cater to the needs of Hong Kong's aging population. The project will include eight residential towers, which vary in size from six to 29 stories. Facilities such as elderly care services and a kindergarten will be integrated into the project.

Apart from its Yuen Long project, SHKP also asked if it could increase the size of its joint venture development in Cheung Sha Wan by 16 percent. The company wants to increase the number of units for the project from 3,140 units to 3,647 units. The average unit area would be reduced from 605 square meters to 520 square meters. Surveyors estimate the total cost of the two projects with its 5,602 combined units to be around HK$18 billion.

The pricing of the units of SHKP's two projects will be a major factor in its overall success when completed.

The company would have to price the units just right to attract older and younger generations alike. This wouldn't really be an easy task for the company as it will likely have to pay around HK$4.7 billion for the conversion of farmland for its Yuen Long project.  

SHKP's application to increase its capacity comes just a week after the Hong Kong government announced plans to acquire private farmland in the northern New Territories to build new residential projects. The land that will be acquired by the government covers around 68 hectares or around 7.3 million square feet. The government hopes to start selling around 980 units between October and December this year.

 The city's Town Planning Board has yet to approve the application as it will still need to conduct a review. Factors such as traffic and accessibility will still need to be considered and an environmental impact assessment still needs to be conducted before it can grant approval.