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Old March 10th, 2016, 06:00 PM   #2021
tateyb
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Visionary Supertall Proposal Tabled for Hong Kong

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A recent visionary proposal from London-based architecture firm Weston Williamson + Partners is highlighting the importance of cooperative transportation and land development planning. This conceptual plan for Hong Kong — dubbed Arcology Skyscraper — would see three towers with heights of up to 440 metres rise adjacent to Victoria Harbour, joined at the base by a sculptural podium, all set atop a section of the proposed 142-kilometre extension of the Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong Express Rail Link.
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Old March 11th, 2016, 01:19 PM   #2022
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Yikes! I don't think that part of town is zoned for a supertall!
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Old March 11th, 2016, 03:32 PM   #2023
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Is there any plot at all currently zoned as a supertall in HK?
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Old March 14th, 2016, 05:49 PM   #2024
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Originally Posted by totaleclipse1985 View Post
Is there any plot at all currently zoned as a supertall in HK?
No supertall projects on the horizon, but a few skyscraper section height projects U/C.
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Old March 16th, 2016, 04:22 PM   #2025
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Hong Kong luxury land plot prices below expectations
Excerpt







HONG KONG, March 16 (Reuters) - The sale of a plot of land on the exclusive southern side of Hong Kong Island fetched less than what analysts had expected, making it the latest in a string of government land sales to do so.

Property is a major component of the Hong Kong economy and investors are closely watching government land sales for signs of further cracks in one of the world's most expensive property markets.

The last government land sale that priced below expectations was in mid-February, while two other tenders were recently cancelled.

The government said last month it would be willing to accept lower premiums on land sales amid weaker economic growth.

The 25,300 square-metre plot on Wong Ma Kok Road in Stanley sold to K&K Property Holdings subsidiary K Wise for HK$2.81 billion ($362.2 million) on a 50-year land grant, the Lands Department said.

Midland Surveyors had expected the plot of land to fetch HK$4.52 billion and Icon City Group had expected HK$3.8 billion. The selling price was 32 percent below the median of the estimates.
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Old March 17th, 2016, 07:07 PM   #2026
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Slow sales despite price dip
The Standard Excerpt
Monday, December 07, 2015


Yuccie Square by Gohome.com.hk

Five new home projects have been given a weak reception by buyers this past weekend.

The lackluster sales come as government data showed a drop in home prices for the first time in 18 months.

Two major projects in Yuen Long from Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016) and CK Property (1113) have sold 264 units as of Saturday only half of the total number of available flats.

CK Property has released another 150 units of Yuccie Square to the market 608 have been sold so far.

Chinachem Group's luxury project Jade Grove has sold 10 units out of the 32 released units. For small-sized flats, Henderson Land (0012) has sold 10 of the 38 studio units in its Zutten project in Ma Tau Kok.
2016-03-09 12.50.55 by Matthew Oliphant, on Flickr
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Old March 21st, 2016, 05:57 PM   #2027
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1/10

Upper West 奧城.西岸
3/20

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Old March 22nd, 2016, 04:04 PM   #2028
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Could these run-down flats be a redeveloper's dream?
22 March 2016
South China Morning Post



Tenements near Shau Kei Wan MTR station are part of the social fabric but need a lot of work

The buildings along Kam Wa Street next to Shau Kei Wan MTR station were built 40 to 50 years ago, mostly without lifts, and now look run-down.

Tenement blocks ranging from eight to 12 storeys, they could be just the type of structures the Urban Renewal Authority is proposing to buy up, refurbish, then rent back to the elderly people living there so they can stay in their old neighbourhoods.

"If by any chance [the Urban Renewal Authority] really manages to do what they plan and put in lifts, I'd consider selling my flat and renting it again from them," said Chan Sau-yuk, 63, who moved into her eighth-floor flat over 20 years ago in one of the old buildings in Kam Wa Street, lined by a bustling wet market.

The apartments were a good size, she said - hers was around 700 sq ft and in decent condition despite being more than 40 years old.

She recently paid HK$130,000 as part of a government project to fit salt water pipes to the building.

However, the buildings have become dirty and unkempt because of an increase in subdivided flats, said Chan.

Rats ran up and down the buildings and roam the street below at night.

Mr Li, who has rented a flat for a year, agreed. "I'd say half of these flats are subdivided units," he said.

The result was more strangers going in and out of the building.

Chan can still climb the nine flights of stairs to her home but worries that it will become harder as she gets older. "It's particularly tough when I'm sick, or carrying a lot of things."Doesn't it make more sense to tear them down?A sceptical resident

She was sceptical about whether the URA plan is feasible and expresses incredulity that "the government would really do such a thing".

"It doesn't seem like something they'd do," added Chan, who said residents had asked the government "a few years ago" about the possibility of redevelopment, only to be given a negative answer.

Another resident who has been living in one of the flats for 28 years with her mother who is in her 70s, said it did not make sense for the government to buy the apartments only to spend a lot of money on refurbishments and then rent them back to the same residents.

"Doesn't it make more sense to tear them down?" she asked.

"This plan is still in the works, right? When it comes into being a decade or so later, the elderly may no longer be here."

She said many people on higher floors had already moved out because they could not handle the stairs.

A specialist in renewal issues at the University of Hong Kong, Professor Law Chi-kwong, said some elderly folks would prefer not to sell their flats and instead pass them on to their children.

But Law said the residents could also make use of the cash compensation they received to help their children put down a deposit on a new flat.
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Old March 23rd, 2016, 03:14 PM   #2029
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Developers may slow land acquisitions
23 March 2016
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Hong Kong's major developers are expected to slow the pace of their land acquisitions while ramping up efforts to increase sales, including lower selling prices if necessary, in a bid to meet annual sales targets, industry experts say.

The caution in building up land banks comes as the city is undergoing a deepening housing price correction that is driven partly by an ample supply of new flats and a slowing economy.

"Previously, Hong Kong developers would replenish land after selling down one project but now they may wait until two projects have been sold," said Alfred Lau, an analyst at Bocom International.

At the same time, developers are accelerating their property sales as they still lag behind sales targets.

"As they rush to meet sales targets, it intensifies the competition for buyers and forces developers to release projects at lower prices," he said.

Li Ka-shing, chairman of CK Property, said the group would focus on acquiring land at opportunistic times and at reasonable prices by following a disciplined approach to land acquisition.

"The group will manage and optimise its land bank actively in step with market conditions and in tune with its needs for medium and long-term development," he said in the company's annual result announcement released last Thursday.

Alvin Cheung Chi-wan, associate director at Prudential Brokerage, said the conservative stance taken by developers was due to the market outlook which is clouded by uncertainties.

"It also reflects that property prices have not found their floor yet. The market is widely expecting home prices will drop a further to 10 to 20 per cent," said Cheung.

With demand weakening amid the bleak economic outlook, major developers' flat sales are still way behind their annual targets.
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Old March 25th, 2016, 02:45 PM   #2030
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Hong Kong Economic Journal
March 24, 2016
Tseung Kwan O to Lam Tin tunnel cost swells to HK$15.1 bln



The cost of the proposed tunnel between Tseung Kwan O and Lam Tin has soared 80 percent to HK$15.09 billion, from last year’s estimate of HK$8.2 billion, while its completion has been pushed back to 2021, 12 months behind the original schedule, the government told the Legislative Council.

Legislator Regina Ip of the New People’s Party warned the public works sub-committee might not be able to approve the funding for the project before the end of the legislative year this summer, given its backlog of funding applications, Ming Pao Daily reports.

Ip suggested that the government might bypass the sub-committee and seek direct funding approval from the finance committee.

Undersecretary for Transport and Housing Yau Shing-mu said the government will study the possibility of adopting such a scheme.

The transport committee on Wednesday approved the project, which is intended to ease traffic congestions in Tseung Kwan O and Kwun Tong.

However, several lawmakers questioned why the project cost surged in just a year’s time.

Gary Fan Kwok-wai from the Neo Democrats blamed the government for the delay, saying it sat on the project for nearly 20 years despite local organizations pushing for it.

Albert Cheng Ting-ning, of the Civil Engineering and Development Department (New Territories East), said the tender process for the project, along with the traffic interchange in Lam Tin, has already started with the validity of the contracts running until the end of this year.

Even if Legco fails to approve the funding before summer, Cheng said, the government could seek funding from the finance committee in October, when the new legislative year begins.

Cheng said if the funding request is approved before the summer holiday, construction work could start in July.

The project is a dual two-lane highway about 4.2 kilometers long connecting Tseung Kwan O and East Kowloon, with the proposed tunnel section measuring 2.2 km in length.
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Old March 27th, 2016, 05:52 PM   #2031
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March 24, 2016
Hong Kong Economic Journal Excerpt
Why property prices are still soaring


The Zumurud by Car L

Something must be going on between the top property developers and the government.

Every tycoon in town is expecting further downside in real estate prices, but look at their new residential units — they are still fetching sky-high prices.

Before the Easter holiday, Cheung Kong Property called a halt to The Zumurud, its luxury project on Argyle Street, which it is trying to sell at an average of over HK$22,000 per square foot.

The joint venture with former Sun Hung Kai Properties chairman Walter Kwok Ping-sheung was originally scheduled to launch before Easter, but Cheung Kong said it had to readjust its strategy to cater for some big customers who want to buy more.

Whatever the reason, it is one of the few residential projects whose sales got suspended in recent years, and it was a rare move for Li Ka-shing, who said last week he foresees the worst economy in two decades this year.

However, many other developers are eager to clear their stock during this period, which coincides with a two-month high in global markets.

For example, Sun Hung Kai Properties launched Ocean Wings, the last batch of The Wings series, in Tseung Kwan O.

It priced the units at HK$12,800 per square foot and offered a rebate of over 13 percent, bringing it close to the second-hand price.

The developer also brought back the 5 percent down-payment offer, which it rarely uses, to provide a lower entry level for buyers.

My question is, how come I still don’t feel the prices declining?

If you are like me, we should perhaps ask the government why it is giving us false hopes of a price drop in the residential market while developers are still trying to sell homes at last year’s price levels.

The government has put in place measures to curb property prices in the face of growing frustration among the youth who can’t afford to rent decent accommodation, let alone acquire their own homes.

One theory I heard is that the big developers have decided to keep prices high as long as the government chooses to maintain its home price curbs.

Well, this doesn’t make any sense if we believe the basic law of supply and demand in our economics textbook, but who really owns the pricing power in Hong Kong?

Why is it that the Singapore property market fell more than 20 percent in the past two years, but that didn’t happen in Hong Kong?

From the land supply side, we noticed that major property developers have been shying away from recent land auctions, whether the site is big or not.

The last few transactions this month – with the exception of Nan Fung winning the 10th tender at Lohas Park in Tseung Kwan O for a land premium of HK$1.66 billion — were clinched by small or private developers.

On the other hand, the big shots had been active in land acquisitions in the past two years.

This, to me, means the government is eager to have greater pricing power with regard to the supply of flats in the medium term because it has not been able to control prices in the short term.
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Old March 28th, 2016, 05:38 PM   #2032
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South China Morning Post Excerpt
Building 21-storey hostel will damage historic Hong Kong temple, activists warn
Concern group urges charity to scrap plans to demolish vacant school next to Man Mo Temple
28 March 2016


Ming Pao

Community activists are calling on a Hong Kong charity to scrap its plan to erect a 21-storey youth hostel next to Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan, fearing the development will damage the historic monument.

Tung Wah Group of Hospitals submitted its application to the Town Planning Board in September to relax the height restriction so it could demolish an eight-storey vacant school to make way for a 97-metre-high tower with 302 bed spaces.

The town planners were scheduled to discuss the application in December but the meeting was deferred until April 22 to allow more time for public consultation.

In its paper submission, Tung Wah said the plan was a response to the government’s call to use land granted to charities to “relieve the imminent housing needs of the youths”.

Tung Wah added the plan was “small in scale and no adverse traffic, environment, air ventilation, heritage, visual, landscape and sewage impact onto the surrounding area is anticipated”.

Protesting against the development plan on Monday, Katty Law Ngar-ning, convenor of the Central and Western Concern Group, said Tung Wah had yet to show how it could carry out construction without causing structural damage to the temple or provide details of any geological studies it had done.

“The school site is only two metres from the temple,” Law said. “It would not be able to withstand the piling next to it.”
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Old March 29th, 2016, 02:17 PM   #2033
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Upper West 奧城.西岸
3/20

3/27

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Old March 30th, 2016, 06:57 PM   #2034
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Tai Hang Sai Estate













Residents’ worries continue as Hong Kong government says it won’t get involved in redevelopment plans
Tenants at Tai Hang Sai Estate could be affected by the landowner’s big building plan
March 30, 2016
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Tenants at a Shek Kip Mei housing estate who fear displacement by its redevelopment were on Wednesday pressing for details on resettlement options, as the government stressed that it would not help rehouse those affected.

Henderson announced last week it had applied to the Town Planning Board to redevelop Tai Hang Sai Estate in two phases, the first involving building 1,289 new flats by 2022. Another 3036 units will be built in the second.

Its chairman, Lee Shau-kee, is among seven directors of the Hong Kong Settlers Housing Corporation, a non-profit organisation which acquired the land at a discounted rate from the government in 1961 to build flats intended for rent by the city’s poor.

On Wednesday a spokesman for the corporation reiterated the intention of the redevelopment was to increase housing supply and to improve the living conditions of residents.

Stopping short of revealing the options being considered, the spokesman said they included letting affected residents continue renting their flats, whilst giving them priority to buy flats at a discount when the work is completed, and cash compensation.

He added the corporation would listen to views of residents.

But chairwoman of a residents’ concern group, Au Yeung Kit-chun, said none of the options reflected residents’ desire: for the government to take over the redevelopment and offer them public housing flats in the area while the work goes on.

Au Yeung has lived in the estate for more than 20 years and pays a monthly rent of HK$1,100.

The 58-year-old added that many estate tenants – many of whom are elderly – worried they would need to pay much more for another home in the city.
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Old April 6th, 2016, 02:56 PM   #2035
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'Ugliest transport infrastructure' in HK under fire
5 April 2016
South China Morning Post Excerpt





Southern district councillors have branded an HK$18 million public transport interchange built by the MTR under the new Wong Chuk Hang station the "ugliest piece of public transport infrastructure" in the city.

Councillors said the unappealing sight of exposed lighting fixtures, drainage and piping, bare concrete columns, poor natural lighting and lack of greenery was a far cry from concept images provided when the taxpayer-funded project began five years ago.

"This is Kwun Tong, but worse. It is a dark alley of concrete andexposed pipes," said councillor Paul Zimmerman. "This area is supposed to become a nice hotel district but the project has destroyed the entire Heung Yip Road.

"This is the ugliest piece of public transport infrastructure you can get."

The 2,200 square metre project, which snakes through Heung Yip Road under the eastern section of the South Island Line, connects Ocean Park to the Aberdeen waterfront. It provides bus and minibus stations, taxi stands and loading and unloading bays.

"The final product is not what was shown to us," said councillor Chai Man-hon, pointing to original concept images which featured planters and a covered walkway for commuters, both of which were missing from the facility during a site visit yesterday.

"Part of the budget was for beautification, but I don't see anything beautiful here. I question where all this money was spent."

The councillors threatened to take the issue to the Ombudsman if improvements were not made.
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Old April 10th, 2016, 06:15 PM   #2036
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Property market faces a reality check
6 April 2016
Hong Kong Economic Journal Excerpt


Ocean Wings

One easy conclusion that we can draw now about Hong Kong's residential property market is this: buyers are shying away because they feel that prices are still not right.

From luxury units in Ho Man Tin to mass-housing in Yuen Long area, property developers have met with lukewarm response after trying to dump the flats at last year's prices.

Tepid sales figures during the past two long weekends tell the story.

On Tuesday, we had more evidence of the buyer wariness -- this time involving even subsidized housing units of the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) in Kai Tak.

De Novo, the URA's first subsidized housing project, managed to sign up only 19 buyers on the first day of sales for an initial batch comprising 68 units.

About 70 percent of the invited buyers did not even show up for selecting their homes although the units were offered at 14 percent discount to the market price.

The De Novo units were priced in the range of HK$3.4 million to HK$6.6 million, or about HK$9,700 and HK$12,400 per square feet.

But many buyers got cold feet as they felt that the discount was not enough, given the recent correction in property prices in the city.

Tuesday marked the first-day of a four-day sale which will see a total of 264 eligible applicants invited to select their apartments.

De Novo will offer 338 units in total, for which the URA had earlier received more than 12,500 applications.

But many of the invited applicants are now backing out, judging by the dismal response Tuesday.

The situation is not much better when you look at other residential projects in the city.

Of the dozen available-for-sale private residential projects in the past month, only Sun Hung Kai Properties managed to sell 90 percent of its units -- at the Ocean Wings development in Tseung Kwan O.

But it is just an exception. As a Tseung Kwan O resident, I can tell that people like the SHKP brand and are thus more willing to take up their high quality homes.

The first-hand property market is facing a dilemma because developers are trying all other means to boost sales, except price cuts.

As buyers hesitate, companies are facing a challenge in clearing their inventories.
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Old April 12th, 2016, 04:02 PM   #2037
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The Standard Excerpt
CLP revives plan for Sokos LNG terminal
12 April 2016



CLP Power is planning to build a floating liquefied natural gas receiving terminal off the Soko Islands eight years after it was forced to drop plans for the HK$8 billion plant due to opposition from green groups to lower the cost of electricity generation.

The company will submit its plan for the environmental impact assessment soon. CLP senior director (commercial) Edward Chiu On-tin said the cost has not been determined, as it would vary with location and design.

Chiu said the terminal can help cut the cost of electricity generation and boost the firm's bargaining power. Currently, its major natural gas supply comes from the second West-East Gas Pipeline in Central Asia, and the Yacheng gas field off Hainan Island.

"The supplier provides us with natural gas when there is a surplus, as our bargaining power is low at the moment," Chiu said, adding it is hard to assess whether the unit price of electricity can be reduced after the terminal comes into use.

"But adding the facility will be advantageous according to the experience of other countries."

The proposed terminal comprises two berths for gas carriers to dock, a floating storage regasification unit for turning LNG from the liquid state to natural gas, and an about 40-kilometer subsea pipeline to transfer the natural gas to the Black Point Power Station.

The jetty being planned is less than one hectare in size smaller than a standard football field. The construction period alone would take about two years.

Chiu said it is estimated that 30 to 50 carriers with a capacity of 170,000 cubic meters of LNG will dock at the terminal every year.

The terminal would help CLP attain the fuel-mix target set by the government for 2020, with natural gas accounting for 50 percent of power generation, he said.

Chiu said an offshore LNG terminal does not take up land, and requires a shorter time to build with less environmental impact compared with a land-based terminal.
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Old April 16th, 2016, 05:42 AM   #2038
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Upton 維港峰
180 CONNAUGHT ROAD WEST
41/F, labels up to 46/F after omitted floors (4, 13, 14, 24, 34, 44)

8/22



By ivanpank from dcfever :

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Old April 25th, 2016, 06:33 PM   #2039
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Why do they pay HK$2.7 million for a car parking space with no windows, no view, no walls?
19 April 2016
South China Morning Post Excerpt

HK$2.7 million is enough to buy a small flat in an urban area, or a decent, two-bedroom unit in a district such as Fanling in the New Territories. But some buyers opt for a parking space. No windows, no view, no walls.

While home prices in the city continue to soften since hitting a peak in September, investors have been shifting their eyes to other asset classes, and that includes parking spaces, according to analysts.

Some buyers do not even own cars, but grab the spaces as investments, boosting the prices of car parking spaces in recent months.Investing in office space needs a large lump sum. That makes some investors eye other investment targets such as car parking spacesThomas Lam, Knight Frank



A car parking space at Grand Austin, near the Austin MTR station, was sold for HK$2.46 million this week, a record for the estate.



On Saturday, a consortium of developers led by Sino Land launched 147 car parking spaces at The Hermitage residential project in West Kowloon at prices ranging from HK$2.3 million to HK$2.7 million. All were sold out on the first day of sale.

“Investing in office space needs a large lump sum. That makes some investors eye other investment targets such as car parking spaces,” said Thomas Lam, head of valuation and consultancy at Knight Frank.

Dorothy Chow, a regional director of valuation advisory services at JLL, said there was strong demand because of limited supply.

According to the Transport Department, there are about 683,000 parking spaces in Hong Kong, of which 198,000 are for public use and 485,000 are designated for private use in commercial, residential and industrial premises.

The total number is lower than the 779,329 registered vehicles - excluding franchised buses, public light buses and special purpose vehicles - last year, according to JLL.

Chow said it was risky for buyers to push prices of car parking spaces to such expensive levels.

According to an index produced by the Rating and Valuation Department, the average price of a car parking space rose 204 per cent from 2005 to 2015, while overall residential property prices rose 223 per cent in the same period. The average price of a car parking space rose from about HK$397,000 in 2005 to HK$1.2 million.
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Old April 30th, 2016, 05:46 AM   #2040
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Hong Kong housing sales law misses the mark
Despite being in force for three years, the Residential Properties (First-hand Sales) Ordinance has led to just a single prosecution case
29 April 2016
South China Morning Post Excerpt



The Residential Properties (First-hand Sales) Ordinance has racked up only one prosecution case since it came into force three years ago, but the relevant authority has still hailed it as a success in tackling unscrupulous sales practices by property developers.

The single case was a stark contrast to the 177 complaints the Sales of First-hand Residential Properties Authority received over suspected breaches of the ordinance, as well as 4,000 enquiries made as of March.

On Friday, authority director Eugene Fung Kin-yip said of the 177 complaints, investigations are still ongoing for 18 cases. But he stressed the watchdog does not rely solely on complaints to identify dodgy sales practices, as inspectors also actively carry out compliance checks on all first-hand residential developments.

Asked how many cases were actually forwarded to the Department of Justice’s Prosecutions Division for follow-up action, Fung said he was not at liberty to disclose the numbers.

Answering the Post’s inquiry, the Department of Justice said it has not compiled such data.

Democratic Party legislator James To Kun-sun, who was involved in drafting the ordinance, said it was “improper” and “wrong in principle” that the authority refused to disclose such statistics, as they are an important indicator to gauge the body’s performance. He also agreed there is a need to review the ordinance’s effectiveness.

The authority has been labelled a “toothless tiger” for only issuing verbal warnings instead of aiming for prosecution. Fung dismissed the suggestion, arguing the watchdog will continue to pursue cases even if remedial measures are taken by the vendor.

The lone case of prosecution involved the sale of 10 units at Full Art Court, a residential block in Sham Shui Po, in February 2014. The responsible developer, a subsidiary of Chinese condiment manufacturer Tung Chun Group, allegedly sold flats without publishing sales brochures or price lists, both of which are requirements under the ordinance. The company will answer to 19 charges at a court hearing in June.
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