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Old April 9th, 2014, 07:23 AM   #21
hkskyline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highcliff View Post
aren't there renders?...
Often not released until the sales brochures are published very late in the game.
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Old April 14th, 2014, 05:28 PM   #22
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Old April 15th, 2014, 04:22 PM   #23
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New home sales surge in Hong Kong
15 April 2014
South China Morning Post

Sales of homes in the secondary market in Hong Kong rose modestly, while the volume of transactions in new homes surged.

A total of 163 units were sold at 50 housing estates tracked by property agency Ricacorp Properties during the week of April 7-April 13, an increase of 22 per cent from the previous week.

But Ricacorp director David Chan said sales in the secondary market would slow after the Easter holiday, when developers launch more new projects.

In the primary market, 158 units were sold over the April 12-13 weekend, 4.2 times the number sold the previous weekend.

Cheung Kong has sold all 402 units in Trinity Towers over the past three weeks, for HK$2.5 billion.

Centaline Property Agency’s Centa-City Leading Index rose 1.36 per cent week on week to 118.82. However, the index is still 0.2 per cent lower year to date.

Meanwhile, New World Development launched the first batch of flats in The Woodside in Yuen Long over the weekend. The average list price is HK$9,291 per square foot; after all discounts, the average selling price is HK$7,930 per sq ft.

Sun Hung Kai Properties launched the first batch of its Mount One development in Fanling on Tuesday.

The average selling price after a maximum 10 per cent discount is HK$9,040 per sq ft, similar to that of Green Code in the same district, launched by Hong Kong Ferry last year.

BNP Paribas said the recent positive sales results of some primary projects showed that developers that adopted flexible pricing strategies like Cheung Kong and SHKP had successfully tapped into strong demand, mainly from end-users. BNP expects their upcoming projects to continue attracting a positive response.
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Old May 27th, 2014, 04:01 PM   #24
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 06:17 AM   #25
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By hamletchan from dcfever :

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Old July 1st, 2014, 08:27 AM   #26
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An open-and-shut case? Not for some homebuyers
30 June 2014
South China Morning Post

Information buried deep in brochures tell of windows that can be opened only for maintenance

With ventilation comes the cacophony of traffic – as a homebuyer who has yet to take possession of her flat in Cheung Sha Wan has realised to her dismay.

Beatrice Ho reacted with surprise when told at least three windows in her much-anticipated new marital home, still under construction, were to be noise barriers to satisfy government conditions and were therefore not meant to be opened.

Ho said she had tried hard to wade through the 111-page sales brochure before signing a deal for nearly HK$8 million for the flat in tower one of Trinity Towers with her newly wedded husband in April.

She gave up in the end. “I read only the first few pages and viewed the floor plan. I couldn’t really spot anything wrong with it. That was how we made the decision,” Ho said, adding that she had also sought advice from an estate-agent friend.

“What a surprise …” she said, on learning from the South China Morning Post that three windows in the living room and two bedrooms would be “fixed” to the frames and, according to developer Cheung Kong, could be opened only with removable handles for maintenance.

The main way to let in some fresh air is through the balconies, though Ho said: “If I have to choose, I think I will keep [the fixed windows] open when I’m home.” She said she could only hope for a less noisy environment, as she could not imagine how loud it might get.

The developer had not displayed the fixed windows in the show flat clearly, Ho complained, and had made the sales brochure too technical for the layperson.

To be fair, some projects are more transparent in making their immovable design known. Double Cove in Ma On Shan, jointly developed by Henderson Land Development, New World Development and the Peterson Group, and Sun Hung Kai Properties’ Riva, in Yuen Long, specified their fixed windows on floor plans.

But not Cheung Kong’s three-tower Trinity.

Buyers must flip to page 106 of its brochure to find out which flats have fixed windows – and that’s provided they know what to look out for.

Even a veteran building surveyor was floored by a Post challenge to locate the windows, because the design was not on the floor plan.

“Given Hong Kong’s scarce land resources, fixed windows would help maximise building opportunities,” Institute of Surveyors senior vice-president Vincent Ho Kui-yip said. “Having said that, disclosure is important. Buyers should be given a choice to make an informed decision.”

The most hemmed-in flats are the A units of Trinity’s tower one: fixed windows are everywhere, on one side of the living and dining areas, two sides of the master bedroom and one side of the second bedroom.

“Residents will have to open the balcony doors to breathe,” Vincent Ho said. “I would say it is an undesirable design.”

At a show flat modelled on a unit B of tower one, the Post found no obvious fixed windows.

But a spokeswoman for Cheung Kong said the windows were there all right – with their removable handles, which she said looked like normal ones.

Buyers of Providence Bay in Pak Shek Kok, Tai Po, were similarly challenged. The affected flats were listed on page 292 of the 301-page sales brochure.

Joint developers Nan Fung Group, Sino Land and Wing Tai Asia have widely promoted the low-density estate next to Tolo Highway as designed by internationally acclaimed British architect Norman Foster.

But many of the flats come with fixed windows. All those on the second to 10th storeys of tower 16 are so designed: in the two living rooms, two games rooms, master bedroom and two other bedrooms. None of the windows are left off the floor plans given to buyers.

But they are shown on a building plan obtained from the Buildings Department.

Fixed-window games rooms, for example, are found in 110 of the 482 flats; these would rely on air conditioning for ventilation, Pacific Bond, the firm overseeing the Providence project, said.

Vincent Ho said it was not surprising such information was given subtly, so as not to reduce the appeal of the properties.

A flat of about 1,400 sq ft in tower 16 was sold for HK$13.76 million last year. Wong Kwok-hing, who chairs the Legislative Council housing panel, said: “The way developers present the information is misleading. They did not deliver on their pledge to the Town Planning Board or the relevant departments.”
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Old July 24th, 2014, 05:50 PM   #27
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Developers in frame over fixed windows
30 June 2014
South China Morning Post

Transparency of private housing sales in doubt as it emerges developers are not upfront with homebuyers over windows that don’t open

Revised guidelines on sales tactics may be issued to property developers, with some suspected of fudging information about flats – leaving homebuyers unaware that opening their windows could mean enduring traffic noise that exceeds environmental standards.

At issue are immovable windows that developers install as one way to satisfy government approval criteria on buffering flat occupants against street noise.

Some windows can opened for maintenance using removable handles, but the design is not always communicated clearly to homebuyers.

The trend towards fixed windows in new homes is set to intensify, given the government’s ambition to produce 470,000 public and private flats in the next decade by building on every inch of available space – even if the homes end up next to busy highways or industrial zones.

“Such an arrangement bypasses the planning system. The loophole should be plugged,” University of Hong Kong planning professor Ng Cho-nam, who used to sit on the Town Planning Board, said.

Ng called it “a trick that can satisfy both the government and the buyers”. To the government, the window cannot be opened; to the buyer, it can, by attaching a removable handle.

“Residents are the ones who will suffer,” he said. “They either opt for better air flow or be disturbed by traffic noise.”

The design poses a grey area in the town planning system, under which the Planning Department requires developers to satisfy the Environmental Protection Department’s demands.

One of the conditions is that a flat should not be exposed to traffic noise exceeding 70 decibels.

Only when no department raises any objection do town planners approve a project.

But no system is in place to ensure developers do a good job of the mitigation measures they propose, or to hold them responsible for not honouring their promises.

More importantly, the immovable-window design is deemed acceptable by the Environmental Protection Department. When asked if the department would review the practice, a spokeswoman said fixed windows with handles were acceptable because residents could choose when they wanted the noise level reduced.

Veteran building surveyor Vincent Ho Kui-yip called the design undesirable. In homes where the windows were mostly fixed, people would have to open the balcony doors for better air flow even in bad weather, he said.

Current rules oblige developers to display fixed windows in show flats, but not through illustrations. They must also mention such windows on sales brochures, but can do so in a note.

The Sales of First-hand Residential Properties Authority, set up in April last year, said it might advise developers to specify the location of fixed windows on floor plans.

At least four estates put on the market over the past year observe the environmental rule by using fixed windows, the South China Morning Post has found.

Immovable windows are installed in Double Cove in Ma On Shan and Riva in Yuen Long, while Trinity Towers in Cheung Sha Wan and Providence Bay in Pak Shek Kok, Tai Po, design theirs with removable handles.

All four developers had promised the town planners and lands authorities that their “fixed windows” would be closed.

In the Trinity and Providence projects, one of the approval conditions was to satisfy the authorities about the 70dB limit, the board’s documents and a land lease showed.

Brochures put out by the estates say in small print that the windows can be opened only for maintenance.

That line, though inconspicuous, meets the requirement for transparency under the Residential Properties (First-hand Sales) Ordinance. But property agents for the estates told a Post reporter who posed as a buyer that the windows could be opened at any time.

“No one would stop you from opening windows in your home,” an agent for Trinity said.

The three-tower redevelopment project is undertaken by Cheung Kong with help from the Urban Renewal Authority.

It sits near the West Kowloon Corridor, bounded by Lai Chi Kok Road, Yen Chow Street West and Yee Kuk Street.

Eighty per cent of Trinity’s flats keep within the traffic-noise limit of 70dB if all the windows are closed.

The URA, in a 2007 letter, promised the Planning Department that no openable windows would face Lai Chi Kok Road in tower one – which had the most number of windows in that direction. “We can confirm that the noise compliance rate will [be] 80 per cent,” the authority wrote.

But if windows facing that road are openable, that proportion drops to 72 per cent, an environmental assessment for the project shows.

More than a quarter of the 384 flats will then be exposed to 76dB from the traffic below, the assessment says.

Cheung Kong said the flats were constructed according to the approved plan.

In the case of Providence Bay, next to Tolo Highway, the land lease obliges the developers to submit a noise assessment report to the lands director for approval.

Developers Nan Fung Group, Sino Land and Wing Tai Asia claim in their report that the window design will help the estate achieve 100 per cent compliance with the noise standard. Pacific Bond, the company behind Providence Bay, also said the Environmental Protection Department had approved its design.
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Old July 28th, 2014, 05:34 PM   #28
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7/13

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Old July 31st, 2014, 02:22 AM   #29
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Interesting.
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