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Key Statistics of The Building, Construction & Real Estate Sectors

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According to the results of the 2020 Annual Survey of Economic Activities – Building, Construction and Real Estate Sectors released today (November 30) by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the construction sector’s total receipts (comprising gross value of construction works performed and other business receipts) amounted to HKD391.3 billion in 2020, representing a decrease of 1.4 per cent compared with 2019; on a per establishment basis, total receipts was HKD15.1 million in 2020, decreased by 5.7 per cent compared with 2019.

Operating expenses and compensation of employees of the construction sector altogether amounted to HKD353.7 billion in 2020, representing a decrease of 3.3 per cent compared with 2019; on a per establishment basis, they were HKD13.6 million in 2020, decreased by 7.5 per cent compared with 2019.

Gross surplus of the construction sector, which is equal to total receipts less operating expenses and compensation of employees, increased by 20.9 per cent over 2019 to HKD37.6 billion in 2020; on a per establishment basis, gross surplus increased by 15.7 per cent over 2019, to HKD1.5 million in 2020.  Gross surplus accounted for 9.6 per cent of total receipts in 2020, up by 1.8 percentage points over 2019.

Industry value added of the construction sector, which is a measure of its contribution to Hong Kong’s Gross Domestic Product, decreased by 8.2 per cent compared with 2019 to HKD108.6 billion in 2020; on a per establishment basis, the industry value added was HKD4.2 million in 2020, representing a decrease of 12.1 per cent compared with 2019.

In 2020, there were some 25 900 establishments in the construction sector, which directly engaged about 170 800 persons, or an average of 6.6 persons per establishment.

The survey did not cover labour-only sub-contractors that mainly supplied labour to work on a job-to-job basis, owing to practical consideration in data collection. The employment figures above mainly covered direct employees of the construction establishments and did not reflect the labour input through the sub-contracting activities of labour-only sub-contractors.

Apart from the construction sector, the survey also enumerated establishments engaged in real estate activities; and architectural, surveying and engineering services.

Total receipts (comprising gross margin of real estate development projects, service and rental income and other business receipts) of establishments engaged in the real estate activities (including real estate development, real estate leasing, real estate brokerage and agency, and real estate maintenance management) amounted to HKD174.9 billion in 2020, representing a decrease of 7.8 per cent compared with 2019. Operating expenses and compensation of employees altogether amounted to HKD79.3 billion in 2020, representing a decrease of 0.6 per cent compared with 2019. Gross surplus decreased by 13.5 per cent compared with 2019 to HKD89.5 billion in 2020. Gross surplus accounted for 51.2 per cent of total receipts in 2020, down by 3.4 percentage points compared with 2019. Industry value added decreased by 12.2 per cent compared with 2019 to HKD112.4 billion in 2020.

In 2020, the real estate activities comprised some 10 900 establishments and engaged about 119 800 persons, or an average of 11.0 persons per establishment.

The total number of private real estate projects ever operated in 2020 was 259. As at end-2020, 203 projects, which were expected to provide a total 7.0 million square metres of gross floor area of buildings when completed, were still under construction. Among them, 11 per cent were on Hong Kong Island, 42 per cent in Kowloon and 47 per cent in the New Territories and outlying islands.

The survey excluded establishments which developed real estate projects for their own use as well as those which owned land but had not developed it during the reference year. Real estate leasing and other related activities undertaken by individuals or firms which engaged less than two persons (except for subsidiaries of real estate enterprises) were also not covered in the survey.

Total receipts (comprising service income and other business receipts) of establishments engaged in the architectural, surveying and engineering services amounted to HKD24.7 billion in 2020, representing an increase of 6.6 per cent over 2019. Operating expenses and compensation of employees altogether amounted to HKD21.9 billion in 2020, representing an increase of 7.7 per cent over 2019. Gross surplus decreased by 1.7 per cent compared with 2019 to HKD2.8 billion in 2020. Gross surplus accounted for 11.3 per cent of total receipts in 2020, down by 1.0 percentage point compared with 2019. Industry value added increased by 4.2 per cent over 2019 to HKD16.5 billion in 2020.

In 2020, the architectural, surveying and engineering services comprised some 2 300 establishments and engaged about 25 900 persons, or an average of 11.2 persons per establishment.

Selected statistics for the building, construction and real estate sectors, with breakdowns by industry grouping, are shown in the attached table.

More detailed survey results on the building, construction and real estate sectors will be given in the report “Key Statistics on Business Performance and Operating Characteristics of the Building, Construction and Real Estate Sectors in 2020”. Users can download the report at the C&SD website as from end-December 2021.

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