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Old September 16th, 2009, 04:59 AM   #881
hkskyline
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Upswing in serviced flat sector
16 September 2009
South China Morning Post

Ayear or so ago, the growth path of the residential market was disrupted by the onset of the global financial turmoil and its knock-on effect on the local economy.

Residential sales prices encountered an immediate challenge as a result of the credit crunch and cautious lending by banks. As liquidity dried up, prices were pushed down and the supply of residential stock for lease increased as desperate owners resorted to offering their units for lease rather than sale, causing residential rentals to take a quick, steep plunge in last year's final quarter.

Now, after a distinct recovery in luxury residential property prices since March, the supply-demand mechanism is at work again, but this time in the opposite direction. Lagging the sales market by three months, luxury residential rentals have begun edging up again since June, when inexpensive investment opportunities had all been snapped up.

The supply of units available for lease has also been on the decline since then, as individual vendors deliberately left units vacant in order to achieve quick resales in the market amid the prevailing upturn.

According to our research, the leasing market bottomed out in May, and there was an accumulated rise of 2.6 per cent in rentals over the three months from June to last month.

In the case of the serviced apartment market, the average unit rental rate edged up mildly by 0.3 per cent in the same period from the previous three months and stayed at HK$43.84 per square foot last month.

Rental trends in the luxury residential and serviced apartment sectors suggest the latter has been less vulnerable to the recent market downturn.

At the peak of the market last year, the rental difference between the two sectors was HK$5 per sq ft. In February this year, just before the leasing market hit bottom, the difference had expanded to HK$11 per sq ft. With the overall leasing market trending upward again, the rental difference started narrowing in March, suggesting rentals of standard luxury units will remain more volatile than those of serviced apartments in the market upswing.

Notwithstanding the fact that rentals in the serviced apartment market have been resilient, the sector has seen a number of key changes over the past months.

The serviced apartment market saw a significant contraction in leasing demand in the first quarter because of a general cutback in expenses and outgoings in the private sector over the past 12 months.

First, there was a substantial reduction in the number of summer interns, one of the key demand groups for short-term serviced units such as studio apartments.

Second, the structure of leasing demand changed, with the market characterised by an increase in local relocations in March and April as rentals dropped.

A number of occupiers chose to relocate to cheaper areas or downgrade in terms of size and quality given the general tightening of housing budgets.

However, with the bottoming out of the overall leasing market and more solid signs of economic recovery, serviced apartments have come back into favour again.

This is particularly the case when the supply of standard apartments for lease is getting thin and more companies are realigning their strategies for growth.

Despite recent changes in the external environment and volatile rentals, the demand structure in terms of the average length of a lease term in the serviced apartment market remained largely unchanged in the first eight months of the year.

According to our research, the number of short leases - with terms of six months or less - that concluded in the period constituted 71 per cent of the total. This was actually a reduction compared with the average percentage of 85 per cent registered in 2007 and the first half of last year.

The key reason for the change was the lack of residential units available for lease during the previous market upswing. Occupiers resorted to short-term accommodation in the serviced apartment sector before securing long-term leases in the luxury residential market.

Overall, the percentage of short-term leases in the first eight months stayed above its long-term average at 67 per cent.

With an ongoing gradual improvement in the external environment, expect more upward pressure on rents, particularly when more companies turn aggressive with their business strategies.

Given the level of services and flexible lease terms available in the serviced apartment sector, it is our view that the sector will continue to be resilient.

Serviced apartment units with short-term leases could benefit from the spillover of the overall leasing market.

Meanwhile, cautious players in the market will prefer to wait for more concrete signs of recovery before committing themselves to longer-term leases. These occupiers may prefer to stay in serviced apartment units on shorter leases with terms of three months or less, as they would consider moving into standard luxury residential units on long leases only when the leasing market once more goes into a full upswing.

Simon Lo is a director of Research and Advisory, Colliers International (Hong Kong)
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Old September 16th, 2009, 11:37 AM   #882
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Flooded Tai O takes it on chin again
16 September 2009
The Standard

For the second time in 12 months, a typhoon has left Tai O residents wading in water _ some up to their chins _ with the government's promise of a flood- protection wall still two years away.

Meanwhile, 74 people were injured _ four seriously _as Koppu thundered past Hong Kong early yesterday before dissipating over western Guangdong.

Early warnings of possible flooding had most Tai O residents moving their valuables to higher ground, but some were caught napping when the storm reached its height between 2am and 5am.

The Islands District Office activated an emergency command center for affected residents, but with the early warning they received, only 10 people accepted the offer of temporary shelter.

Also on hand to help those affected were social welfare officers dispatched by the YMCA. Two officers were controversially removed from their posts after last year's flooding, amid claims the YMCA had come under pressure from a government official, allegations which have been vigorously denied.

Islands District Officer Byron Lam Saint-kit said construction of an embankment will begin next year, and should be completed by 2011.

Lam said Koppu did not do as much damage as Hagupit last September.

The Observatory said the smooth path Koppu took allowed it to notify the public more than two hours in advance of the hoisting of typhoon signal No8.

The 74 injured were aged between nine and 81, and 49 of them were men.

The Home Affairs Department said 26 shelters were opened, accommodating 260 people.

With the No8 signal still in effect at 8am, the government announced the closure of all day schools, suspension of morning court cases, and temporary suspension of services at outpatient wards at hospitals and clinics, the immigration department and postal services.

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department reported 48 cases of fallen trees or branches, while the Drainage Services Department said there were eight cases of flooding.

Most services resumed two hours after the No8 signal came down at 10.15am, and all schools and courts reopened for the afternoon session.

``A few Kowloon roads were closed temporarily due to fallen trees, dangerous scaffolding and falling objects from a height,'' the government said.

Three beaches remained closed, as the typhoon had damaged shark nets.

Long bus queues appeared soon after the No8 signal came down. All signals went down at 3.40pm, and by evening, only amber rainstorm, landslip and thunderstorm warnings were in effect.
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Old September 19th, 2009, 05:31 AM   #883
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Buyers splash out for Aqua 33 low-rise project
18 September 2009
South China Morning Post















The special features of Aqua 33, a low-rise residential property on Consort Rise, Pok Fu Lam, put it a cut above the rest, as shown by the abundant interest among buyers. Within two months of internal purchases, starting July, 90 per cent of the units have been sold.

"The special features of the penthouses [include] an internal private staircase leading up to their rooftops. This is hard to find in Hong Kong, and having a lift in a low-rise building is also another rarity in the area as all the buildings surrounding Aqua 33 are relatively old and only have staircases," said Ada Ng, StatelyHome regional associate director Mid-Levels West at Centaline Property Agency.

This property by MacauLand Developments and Angelo, Gordon & Co, contains 42 residential apartments (14 two-bedroom and 28 three-bedroom), including 12 penthouses. Most apartments have sea and mountain views, and there are 42 parking spaces - covered and open.

Each standard two- and three-bedroom apartment features one en suite and is 1,434 sqft to 2,002 sqft.

The penthouses have the same range of sizes as the standard apartments but come with a private roof. The roofs vary from about 760 to 1,300 sqft.

Non-penthouse residents can also enjoy the fresh air in the SkyLounge which includes a plunge pool, a jacuzzi, a barbeque area and a sundeck.

Children can enjoy the KidZone - a rooftop playground and sandbox.

Aqua 33 residents will also automatically become a platinum member of Club Horizon-Le Méridien at Cyberport and can use its facilities, such as the gym and the swimming pool.

The prices of Aqua 33 apartments are not expensive compared with other residential properties in the same area.

Prices for standard apartments range from HK$8,007 per sqft to HK$9,200 per sqft. Those for the penthouses range from HK$13,000 per sqft to HK$13,500 per sqft.

A 2,008 sqft luxury apartment in Cape Mansion, on Mount Davis Road, Pok Fu Lam sold for HK$20.8 million, or HK$10,358 per sqft last month. That apartment has three bedrooms and a balcony facing the sea.

Although most people who purchase low-rise apartments are end-users, some buy them for investment.

"Low-rise apartments are good choices for investment because there is a limited supply in Hong Kong due to the lack of land, and owners can set their own rental prices," Ng said.

"But they are also hard to buy due to the limited supply. So, when there is supply, it is bound to stir up a lot of interest."
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Old September 21st, 2009, 03:29 PM   #884
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Soho 38
9/19



Kerry to launch high-end Soho 38
20 August 2008
South China Morning Post

Kerry Properties plans to launch its new residential project in Central, Soho 38, by the end of the month despite unfavourable market conditions.

Soho 38, at the junction of Shelley and Mosque Streets adjacent to Ka Yee Court, has 75 typical units in the 30-storey block that range in size from 400 to 700 square feet.

The "efficiency rate" is about 75 per cent of the space that is quoted.

The block also features a 1,840 sq ft penthouse with a roof garden.

Chu Ip-pui, an executive director of Kerry Real Estate Agency, a subsidiary of Kerry, said the minimum asking price of the typical units was HK$15,000 per square foot. This means a 400 sq ft unit will cost more than HK$5 million.

The penthouse was open to offers, he said, but the target price set by the developer was more than HK$20,000 per square foot.

Although pitched at the upper end of the market, the project location may be its biggest attraction, offering buyers quick and easy access to Central and the entertainment district of SoHo through the nearby Mid-Levels escalator.

The developer has packaged Soho 38 as "hip residential" and the building has been equipped with Wi-fi and digital home automation.

Kerry has teamed up with Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Home Touch and Microsoft Corp to provide the digital facilities. Residents can control home appliances, check clubhouse facilities booking, laundry services booking and communicate with the resident concierge through a wireless video door phone.

The units are also equipped with the latest model of HP computers, which come pre-installed with the latest Microsoft office and multimedia software.

The developer expects to secure the occupation permit for the project by the end of the month, after which it will launch the project and open the show flats.

Mr Chu said the project would attract both end-users and investors as the rents could reach about HK$60 per square foot.

Simpson Lo Man-wai, an associate director at Centaline Property Agency, said those looking for long-term investments were likely to show interest in the project as the leasing and serviced apartment markets in the area were active.

"Serviced apartments in the area such as Lily Court are always fully occupied," Mr Lo said. "Rents for a 500 sq ft unit in the block are about HK$25,000 per month and rents in the three-year-old CentreStage in Hollywood Road also reached HK$50 per square foot recently.

"So I expect rents in Soho 38 could reach HK$60 per square foot."

Soho 38 is the only new residential project completed in Central this year. The previous project was Henderson Land Development's CentreStage, which sold at an average of HK$11,792 per square foot in the secondary market, according Centaline.

Average price of Pacific Century Premium Developments' One Pacific Heights at Wo Fung Street in Sheung Wan also reached about HK$11,000 per square foot last month.

The number of residential deals has dropped significantly in the past few months due to the uncertain outlook for the sector and the economy.

Mr Chu conceded that market sentiment was poor but said the limited supply of new high-end properties would support prices. Thus, he was confident on the sales of the project.

Kerry is controlled by the Kuok Group, the controlling shareholder of the SCMP Group, which publishes the South China Morning Post.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 06:23 PM   #885
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筲 箕 灣 南 安 街 重 建 項 目 by 鄧麗欣之戀 from skyscrapers.cn :

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Old October 14th, 2009, 05:32 PM   #886
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Review of standards governing seawater
Criteria have not been changed for 22 years

26 September 2009
South China Morning Post

The city's 22-year-old quality objectives for marine water are to be revamped under a review launched by the government yesterday that might lead to different standards for different places, depending on their uses.

The review will explore issues involved in tracking health risks at bathing beaches, the need for separate standards for fish-culture zones or marine parks, and introducing quantitative criteria for toxic water pollutants.

The outcome of the review will also have a bearing on a multibillion-dollar sewage treatment plant planned for Victoria Harbour beyond 2013.

Elvis Au Wai-kwong, assistant director of the Environmental Protection Department, said yesterday the review was needed because of new marine pollution science, technologies and practices and changing use of the seas over the past two decades.

"We have been closely tracking all these developments and it is time we moved on to see what improvements we can achieve," Au said.

A three-month push to engage the public on the issues would be launched and a public seminar would be held on October 31 to seek opinions. The exercise would be followed by further studies on proposals, decisions on objectives and methods by which to attain them.

The results would be made available for public consultation by the end of next year.

An advisory committee comprising academics, engineers and officials has been formed to steer the review.

According to review documents, Hong Kong has 11 broad categories of water quality guidelines on things such as dissolved oxygen, ammonia and nutrients. Overseas authorities have also begun replacing guidelines on E. coli bacteria with parameters on other bacteria when they measure beach water quality and effects on human health.

These have been incorporated into enforcement guidelines for 10 water quality control zones set up in 1982 that cover the whole city. No discharges into these zones are allowed without a licence.

But compliance with objectives varies greatly between the zones - from full compliance in eastern waters, to just 40 per cent in Deep Bay and 65 per cent in southern waters as at the end of last year.

One of the reasons for the low compliance rate is related to untreated sewage pumped into the sea.

About 450,000 cubic metres of raw sewage is discharged into the harbour every day.

That will continue until 2013 when an expanded sewage collection network is completed.

The Deep Bay area, shared with Shenzhen and adjacent to Mai Po Nature Reserve, is the most stressed water body outside the harbour.

Some of its pollution loads are believed to exceed its carrying capacity.

WWF Hong Kong yesterday welcomed the review but called on the government to clearly outline guidelines that will conform to the most stringent international standards.

"Relentless development and reclamation over the last 15 years on the Shenzhen side of Deep Bay has radically altered the hydrodynamics of the bay," the WWF said in a statement yesterday.

"Revised objectives based on the current situation are therefore needed to facilitate more meaningful interpretation of the marine conditions on which the biodiversity of the bay depends."
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Old October 17th, 2009, 06:28 AM   #887
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hkskyline,

Do you think you can somehow dig up some update on this development on Welfare Road, Wong Chuk Hang?

Quote:
惠福道勢成豪宅新地標
鄰近地鐵港島兩支線樞紐 2007年10月20日

信和(0083)再顯大好友本色,伙拍嘉華(0173)與南豐合組財團,斥資57.1億元奪得香港仔惠福道地皮,每方呎樓面地價高達8840元(以地積比率 9.37倍計算),創97年後港島區分層住宅的每方呎地價新高。該地能以破紀錄價售出,除了是自02年6月後港島區首幅拍賣的大型地皮,以及擁有向南海景,刺激發展商力爭該地王外,上周施政報告透露港島南地鐵支線有機會加快上馬,亦成為群雄爭地的原因。

上周施政報告公布,政府將加快港島南支線上馬,若落實以往發展計劃,黃竹坑將成為南港島線東段與南港島線西段的車站交匯點,日後區內住戶東可經海洋公園、跑馬地及灣仔至金鐘站,西則途經香港仔、華富、數碼港及大學站達至西環。而惠福道地王鄰近黃竹坑,正是計劃中南港島線東段與南港島線西段的車站交匯點,日後該處住戶無論往返中環或銅鑼灣均便捷。

港島南支線料2015年落成

港島區住宅供應一直較少,更難尋一個大型的住宅地皮,兼享向南海景,並具地鐵概念,但惠福道地皮正好滿足以上的條件。

港島南地鐵支線若能趕及2015年落成,即使惠福道項目可於2010年落成,住戶亦只需待4至5年便可享用該條地鐵支線;一旦支線啟用後,區內的人口及整個社區將會發生龐大變化。

政府擬區內建特色旅遊區

發展商亦早已看好區內的發展潛力,待黃竹坑鸷清拆後,加上海洋公園的擴展工程,以及政府有意於區內設立水上海鮮食肆及主題食街等,整個地區將會變成具有漁鄉特色旅遊區,未來區內對商場及酒店的需求必將大增,故多家發展商已紛紛將旗下的工廈轉作商業或酒店發展(見表),估計房間數目或逾5000間,其中新地 (0016)、華懋及大生地產(0089)已於惠福道地皮拍賣前率先完成補地價。

惠福道地王集特色旅遊及向南海景特點,難怪有發展商亦指出,是次地價仍屬合理。有角逐該地王的嘉里(0683)代理執行董事朱葉培於賽後亦坦言,是次地皮的成交價已計及將會興建港島南支線等因素,令成交價更有指標性。美聯港島區董事伍創業指出,區內未來發展將會大變身,發展商亦明言該地將建超級豪宅,相信該項目將成為未來區內豪宅新地標。

南區未來3年供應僅1700伙

根據《2007香港物業報告》資料顯示,預計港島區今年的住宅落成量約1847伙,但明年將回落至1317伙,跌幅約29%。在港島區的4個地區中,以南區的供應最少,預計今年約有963伙落成,明年將大幅下跌至僅4伙,並創下新低紀錄,反映中短期港島南區的供應緊張情。若再集中在香港仔區,撇除南韓基金計劃將所收購薄扶林貝沙灣6期第6座全幢作長線收租後,未來3年只會有1700個一手單位供應(見表)。

市場預料,泛海(0129)的香港仔夏巴車廠重建項目,最快於明年初推出,預料將成為惠福道地皮高價售出後首個區內一手開售的樓盤。

泛海執行董事關堡林亦表示,受到惠福道地皮以破紀錄售出的消息刺激,旗下的夏巴車廠重建項目意向呎價將逾1萬元。此外,於05年完成每方呎4300多元補地價的新地及嘉里鴨婣洲船廠項目,亦將受惠是次地王成交,預料該盤的市值將水漲船高。

撰文:陳天賜
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Old October 25th, 2009, 04:23 PM   #888
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Flats rise from industry
The Standard
Thursday, October 22, 2009

K Wah International (0173) said it plans to sell its former serviced apartments at a Tai Kok Tsui industrial building as individual strata-title units.

After naming the 23-storey building on Bedford Road as Solo yesterday, company associate director Wilson Chan Yuk-shing said the developer aims to charge about HK$3,000 or HK$4,000 per square foot for the 135 units.

The units range in size from 447 to 631 square feet, with the cheapest home costing about HK$1.6 million.

An entire floor of seven units, totaling 3,490 sq ft, would cost about HK$14 million.

So far, Chan said some 40 prospective buyers have expressed interest. He expects the property to attract both investors and people in the creative industry. The developer has yet to finalize a sales timetable or actual prices.

Meanwhile, Sino Land (0083) assistant general manager Raymond Lai Hok-leung said Sino has sold 70 units of The Palazzo in Fo Tan, about 30 percent of them to mainlanders.

Half of the units sold - with views of the Sha Tin Racecourse - fetched about HK$10,000 psf.

Three-bedroom units with mountain views sold for about HK$7,000 psf.

A low level racecourse-view unit measuring 1,176 sq ft fetched more than HK$7,600 psf.

The developer is considering putting more units on the market.
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Old October 30th, 2009, 10:20 PM   #889
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Value for money
Hip, contemporary and chic serviced apartments gain as the financial meltdown forces banks to slash housing allowances for executives

30 October 2009
South China Morning Post

The squeeze on housing allowance budgets provided an unexpected tonic for Hong Kong's armada of boutique serviced apartments at a time when the global economic downturn would have seen many of them sink.

With banking executives having to scale back perks, including rental allowances, the era of residing in a luxury home for a couple of years seems to have largely come to an end.

To lessen the pinch and ensure executives are still rewarded with a luxury stay, HR departments have turned towards the serviced apartments sector. Gone also are the costs and hassles of administration: leases are now being signed by employees with all the tenancy responsibilities that come with it.

Overall tenancy rates, however, have dropped as more players enter the boutique serviced apartment sector. Despite feeling some ill effects from the recession, many operators are benefiting from a convergence of crisis and opportunity thanks to being small and flexible compared with the bigger operators.

Leasing terms have been adapted as companies seeking more economical and convenient accommodation demanded shorter rental periods.

CHI Residences may have entered the fray only three years ago with operations now running in Sheung Wan and Kowloon, but chief executive Pilar Morais says the company has an "old hand" driving it - chairman Philip Morais, who formed Shama before selling his share to Morgan Stanley in March 2006. Philip Morais is seen as having pioneered this niche sector in Hong Kong and built up a portfolio of 250 apartments.

In 2007, together with his son, Phil Jnr, and daughter Pilar, he founded CHI International - of which CHI Residences is an integral component.

"With corporations cutting housing allowances for staff we have found that they are no longer putting staff up in apartments due to the longer-term commitment and the fact that it is not affordable to lease an apartment and furnish it," Pilar Morais says. "Corporations have also steered away from hotels due to the greater expense compared to serviced apartments.

"We offer very affordable living conditions with the great quality of high-end hotels. Our locations are convenient and our prices are very competitive. There is no way that one could duplicate renting an apartment and furnishing it or staying in a hotel. Our prices vary from HK$11,000 to HK$45,000, which is very hard to beat."

The boutique sector has played up its modern image by appealing to the lifestyle conscious who want a place in the heart of Hong Kong with all that it has to offer, from gyms and nightlife, to shopping and shorter commutes.

One brand in this hip and trendy movement is Kush, run by entrepreneurs Dinesh Nihalchand and Alexander Bent. Though the financial downturn hit overall occupancy levels at the start of the year, the two found that the finance sector's tightening of employee perks was a boon, along with the recent upsurge in recruitment by the finance and banking sector.

"In the midst of Lehman collapsing and turmoil in the world financial markets, we were certainly helped a little bit by companies wanting to reduce their employees' housing budgets," says Bent. "These companies also began to adopt a wait-and-see attitude and put some of their employees in serviced apartments so that they wouldn't have to commit to long-term leases."

Consolidation among financial institutions also helped as it was accompanied by an overhaul in housing arrangements for staff. Nihalchand points to the absorbing of most of Lehman's Asia operations by Japanese investment giant Nomura, and reorganisation by US banks in the regions.

"The collapse of some of the bulge-bracket financial firms - Lehman and Bear Sterns - last year prompted a flurry of mergers and acquisition activity within the financial services sector which made the serviced apartment sector a viable option for employees who are integrating themselves with new platforms and require more flexible lease terms as positions are reorganised regionally," says Nihalchand.

Flexibility has also been a key strength for home2home, which runs Ovolo, Abeo and a serviced office block in Hollywood Road. "Companies are cutting their budgets, including housing allowances. Under this current economic environment, we understand guests' needs may change," says Heddy Li, home2home's director of operations and project development. "In order to tide over this difficult time with our guests, we are flexible in lease terms {hellip} willing to adjust according to guests' requirements. As a market leader and trend-setter, home2home understands guest requirements and will adapt to market changes."

But Kush's Bent adds that the global crisis does have niche operators concerned about the more negative repercussions of the fallout. "We still experienced about a 20 per cent reduction in rates and occupancy at the beginning of 2009," he says. "This has picked up in the past couple of months with what seems like an influx of new employees as the economy picks up a little bit."

For Elaine Young, of Shama, which has expanded into third-party operations in mainland cities, the change in relocation perks has benefited tenants who prefer the convenience of a luxury serviced apartment. "Not only have corporations turned to serviced apartments because they offer flexible lease terms, some have even passed the onus of signing the tenancy agreement onto the employee. This safeguards the company against holding unnecessary leases should they be required to make staff cuts in the future," Young says.

She adds that company housing budgets were cut by up to 30 per cent at the peak of the downturn and the leases were for weeks rather than months. "When a stay is short it rules out renting a regular apartment as minimum lease periods are usually for one or two years."

Young saw those allowance cuts ease to 15 to 20 per cent in the second half of this year. "Some employees have been forced to downsize or decentralise to less prime locations in order to cut costs," she says. "Shama has noticed a significant rise in the weekly stay business at our Central and Causeway Bay properties. We find that many tenants are preferring to stay in serviced apartments over hotels as they enjoy better rates and a larger space and are prepared to sacrifice the in-room dining and turn-down service. An overall trend seems to be: only make the most necessary and needed of business trips; if a video conference will suffice, do it."

Property industry observers say that more players entering the boutique serviced apartment sector has led to a rise in quality, with added-value seen as essential in attracting tenants, particularly from international companies.

"Value for money is becoming increasingly relevant for all travellers, so well-priced brands will be important," says Young. "In this regard we have created a diffusion line that is hip, contemporary, chic but importantly, keenly priced. Boutique properties will still be in demand as brand personality is desired by guests."
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 04:29 PM   #890
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Don't expect changes to HK's high property price policy
3 November 2009
South China Morning Post

Yesterday, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen promised to get a grip on Hong Kong's ballooning home prices.

"We do not want to see a huge property bubble developing," he told a hall full of business executives. "We do have tools available to stabilise the market if needed."

Of course, the government has the tools to stabilise prices; it is the monopoly supplier of land in Hong Kong and controls the market.

But whether Tsang chooses to do anything bolder than merely tweak the city's land supply mechanism is doubtful. After all, the government has deliberately rigged the whole system precisely in order to keep home prices high.

The reason Tsang is making noises about reining in the market is the near 30 per cent rise in flat prices so far this year, which has driven prices up to within a whisker of their March 2008 highs.

The run-up in prices has prompted a swelling chorus of protests that the supply of new flats coming to the market is insufficient (see the first chart below) and that the reason is the government's restrictive land supply system.

As things stand, there are three main ways a property developer can acquire plots to build on. It can trigger a land auction through the government's application list mechanism. It can pay a hefty premium to the government to allow it to build homes on land previously designated for agricultural or industrial use. Or it can go into business with the government-controlled MTR Corp to help develop portions of MTR's giant land bank.

Under the application list system, a developer triggers an auction if it proposes paying 80 per cent of a secret reserve price for a plot on the government's list. If no one then makes a higher bid, the developer that initiated the auction has to pay the full reserve price. The application list method was introduced in 1999 to replace regular auctions. A large part of the idea was to help support depressed prices. But the system has succeeded beyond anyone's wildest dreams. Land auctions have all but ground to a halt (see the second chart) as developers have failed to file rich enough proposals.

The developers blame the government for setting reserve prices too high. Cynics rubbish that notion, saying the developers have colluded not to trigger auctions, in order to keep prices high.

That would suit the large developers, who are sitting on sizeable areas of farming and industrial land. With the conversion charge determined by the difference in value between residential land and plots earmarked for other uses, a shortage of residential land ensures that only the richest developers can afford to pay the premium.

It would also suit the MTR and its favoured partners, who in recent years have exerted a virtual stranglehold on new properties in the mass market.

In each case, the effect of the land supply mechanism is to erect formidable barriers to entry, restricting the market to a select cartel of developers and protecting their margins by supporting prices.

In last month's policy address, Tsang hinted that he might ease the supply of land through the MTR and by allowing easier land use change. But the fundamental flaws of the system - its high barriers to entry - will remain in place.

If he really cared about making property affordable, Tsang would introduce more competition to the market by scrapping the heavy up-front fees participants must pay and replacing them with back-loaded charges such as annual taxes on completed developments.

The chances of that are negligible, however. Tsang is far more interested in supporting the value of the assets held by Hong Kong's existing property-owning class than he is in providing affordable homes for first-time buyers.

As he said yesterday: "Whatever action we may consider, we have to take into account the legitimate concern of existing homeowners." In other words, don't expect any substantive changes to the government's high property price policy.
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Old November 5th, 2009, 04:44 PM   #891
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Secret bidding for land sales urged
2 November 2009
The Standard

An economist yesterday called on the government to resume secret bidding for land sales to prevent developers from inflating prices during an open auction.

City University associate professor of economics and finance Li Kui-wai told RTHK's City Forum that from 2002 to 2003, developers had to submit bids through a secret ballot, and the government decided who should get the land _ and not necessarily the highest bidder.

``It is not indeed a high land price policy [that props up the property market]. It is the way of selling land that results in a high land price,'' Li said. ``If you sell land in an open auction, it will always be the bidder who is willing to pay the highest price who gets the land. They [developers] can push up the price of land by continually raising their hands and their bids.''

The government abandoned the secret ballot policy and resumed open auctions for transparency, and to avoid the suspicion of collusion with any specific property developer.

Shih Wing-ching, chairman of Centaline Group, said the current sky- high property prices for luxury apartments were the result of a loose monetary policy by the mainland government and the SAR government's reluctance to put more land on sale.

Fred Li Wah-ming, a lawmaker and a member of the Housing Authority's Subsidized Housing Committee, said the prices of luxury units would inevitably affect the prices of other flats. He called on the government to restart the Home Ownership Scheme. ``It can help thousands of people who cannot afford to buy private property to have homes of their own, thereby vacating public housing for those in need,'' Li said.

Lawrence Poon Wing-cheong, chairman of the general practice division of the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors, said the high prices were not the result of a lack of supply. ``We have about 50,000 vacant flats, and a further 40,000 flats will be put on sale over the next three years,'' Poon said.

However, Shih argued many vacant flats are not available for sale. He warned the government should not repeat the lesson of the ``85,000 housing policy'' by hastily acceding to pressure for HOS resumption and other housing policies.

``The government should be very careful when imposing policy. There are fewer than 10 percent of the households who want to buy property and 60 percent who have already bought their homes,'' Shih said.

``If the government tries to suppress the price of property, it will hurt most of the families and will not benefit the minority, as people will not buy when the prices are too low.''
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Old November 5th, 2009, 04:46 PM   #892
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Contract awarded for Harbour Area Treatment Scheme Stage 2A
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Government Press Release

The Drainage Services Department (DSD) today (November 3) awarded a $188.8 million contract for provision of covers and deodourisation facilities to the existing sedimentation tanks at Stonecutters Island Sewage Treatment Works (SCISTW).

Speaking after the contract signing ceremony, the Assistant Director(Sewage Services) of DSD, Mr Shiu Wing-yu, said the department had, in recent years, implemented a series of mitigation measures at SCISTW to reduce odour nuisances from the plant.

"The addition of covers to the sedimentation tanks will further remove a potential odour source at SCISTW and will provide long-term improvement to the air quality of its neighbouring areas," he said.

The contract is the fifth works contract awarded under the Harbour Area Treatment Scheme Stage 2A. It comprises the supply and installation of approximately 25,000 square metres of fibre reinforced plastic covers to the existing sedimentation tanks, and two deodourisation plants (using biotrickling filter technology) at SCISTW.

HATS is a major sewerage infrastructure project in Hong Kong to improve the water quality of Victoria Harbour. The commissioning of HATS Stage 1 in late 2001 has provided proper treatment to about 75% of the sewage discharged into Victoria Harbour, and has significantly improved the water quality in the eastern and central parts of the harbour. HATS Stage 2A will collect the remaining 25% of the sewage generated from northern and southwestern parts of Hong Kong Island, and involves the construction of another 21 km of tunnels, and expansion and upgrading of the SCISTW facilities and related preliminary treatment plants on Hong Kong Island.

The contract is scheduled for completion in late 2012 while the whole of HATS Stage 2A is targeted for commissioning at the end of 2014.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 07:12 PM   #893
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LDAC welcomes initiatives to revitalise industrial buildings
Monday, November 9, 2009
Government Press Release

The Land and Development Advisory Committee (LDAC) welcomed the Government's innovative measures to revitalise industrial buildings through encouraging redevelopment and wholesale conversion of vacant or under-utilised industrial buildings.

At its second meeting today (November 9), LDAC members considered the policy initiatives constructive in stimulating the provision of more land and premises to meet Hong Kong's economic and social needs. They noted that a wide range of social and economic uses may be permitted in redeveloped or converted buildings in the "Other Specified Uses" annotated "Business" zone where most of the industrial buildings are located, such as church groups gathering places, activity areas of NGOs, non-residential social welfare facilities as well as higher value-added economic activities including the six advantaged industries. They also noted that the Lands Department will set up a dedicated team to process applications for redevelopment and wholesale conversion when the application period commences on April 1, 2010.

The LDAC was also briefed on the redevelopment of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui (HKSKH) Compound by the Commissioner for Heritage. Members agreed that the project would contribute to the society in terms of enhanced community services and the promotion of heritage conservation as well as local art and culture. Members noted that the redevelopment project, fully funded by the HKSKH, would help create jobs and boost the economy. The redevelopment is one of the eight projects under the "Conserving Central" initiative announced in the 2009-10 Policy Address.

Members were consulted on the Public Engagement Process on Building Design to Foster a Quality and Sustainable Built Environment launched by the Council for Sustainable Development to gauge public views on the key issues concerned. Members acknowledged the need to strike a balance between granting GFA (gross floor area) concessions for the provision of essential, green and amenity features, and addressing public concern over building height and bulk. The Council for Sustainable Development expects to submit a report to the Government by mid-2010.
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Old November 11th, 2009, 06:16 PM   #894
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricIsHim View Post
hkskyline,

Do you think you can somehow dig up some update on this development on Welfare Road, Wong Chuk Hang?
Search hasn't been very fruitful :

Land frenzy tipped to ebb
31 December 2007
The Standard

After the jaw-dropping prices seen in land auctions this year, it is unlikely the same scenes of fierce bidding will be repeated next year as the property professionals expect triggering an auction to get tougher than ever.

So far during the current fiscal year _ April 1, 2007 to March 30, 2008 _ a total of eight land plots have been sold in six land auctions, generating HK$26.02 billion for the government.

The most noteworthy sale was that of the 69,822-square-foot plot on Welfare Road in Aberdeen which went for HK$5.71 billion in October, translating to an accommodation value of HK$8,836 per square foot. The winning bid was 130 percent above the opening bid of HK$2.5 billion.

With this year's land sale prices serving as a benchmark, the government is likely to raise the reserve prices next year, making land buying more challenging for developers, said Charles Chan Chiu-kwok, managing director of Savills valuation and professional services.

Centaline Property Agency research department associate director Wong Leung-sing said there will be fewer plots triggered for sale next year as developers will find it hard to keep up with the higher valuation adjustments. After the Aberdeen land sale, flats in South Horizons in nearby Ap Lei Chau climbed more than 50 percent in value to some HK$6,000 psf this month.

But the surge was mainly driven by the news that the MTR South Island Line which will go through Ap Lei Chau will start running by 2015, not by the Aberdeen sale, Wong said.

There were 34 unsuccessful bids to trigger land auctions in this fiscal year with the former Valley Road Estate Phase II site in Ho Man Tin receiving 16 of them. Market watchers believe Wheelock Properties (0049), which by being the first bidder triggered auctions for the five of the six sites, will remain aggressive as it rushes to replenish its fast-depleting land bank.

According to surveyors, developers next year will be more keen on sites suitable for luxury projects rather than mass-market schemes.

They said the Ho Man Tin site, a site on Mount Nicholson Road in eastern Mid-Levels and an Ede road site in Kowloon Tong may go on the block.
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Old November 12th, 2009, 06:02 PM   #895
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Balancing act fine by Victor Li
The Standard
Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cheung Kong (Holdings) is backing the government's housing policy, saying the administration is capable of taking care of both sides in property dealings.

"The government is able to strike a balance between the interest of homebuyers and owners," said Victor Li Tzar-kuoi, deputy chairman and managing director of Cheung Kong (0001).

Also, he said, Cheung Kong supports the opinions of the government and the Real Estate Developers Association on property market development.

The government has said it will fine- tune its land supply arrangements when necessary to avert a property bubble. And it will intervene if the market becomes unhealthy.

As Li sees the business, it is never a wrong decision for the long term if someone holds on to a flat bought in the economic slowdown.

That was in reaction to some professionals saying they could not now afford to buy homes they desired. "No young person in the world is able to afford expensive homes right after graduation," Li remarked during the grand opening of Cheung Kong's 1881 Heritage project in Tsim Sha Tsui.

"It's good if commuting time is reasonable - like if you take 45 minutes to go to work from home."

Government figures showed an average household spent about 34 percent of total income on mortgage payments in the second quarter this year.

On another front, Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (1038) is expected to announce an overseas acquisition next week.

Li, who is chairman of the infrastructure arm, said the company is actively talking to French electricity company EDF regarding a British power- distribution business worth 4 billion euros (HK$46.56 billion).
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Old November 12th, 2009, 09:01 PM   #896
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Search hasn't been very fruitful :

Land frenzy tipped to ebb
31 December 2007
Thanks anyways.

I did find a few, like two or three, Chinese articles about the project. Mostly published when the land was auctioned out in 2007, and there was a few publish in the past mid-October (2009).

Nothing much really, all I saw was there will be 6-tower with 30 floor each.
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Old November 15th, 2009, 06:19 AM   #897
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When the water stops
15 November 2009
SCMP

There was only sporadic drizzle over the supposedly wet summer months. And the rain simply disappeared after autumn took hold. The Beijiang, one of the three tributaries of the Pearl River in Guangdong, is drying up. In parts that run through Qingyuan's city centre, the riverbed is visible. Working and sightseeing boats have disappeared from the usually busy river, as navigation has become too difficult.

But this is not the only part of Guangdong suffering at the hands of the drought. With precipitation only 40 per cent of the seasonal average over the past months, the Xijiang and the Dongjiang - the other two tributaries - are also showing the effects of drought. Many Guangdong cities, such as Meizhou, Shaoguan, Shantou, Chaozhou and Qingyuan, have reported serious water shortages. In Qingyuan and the neighbouring city of Shantou alone, at least 40 hectares of farmland are affected, while 70,000 people are short of drinking water. But the drought was not even reported in the Qingyuan city newspaper, because of the tight press censorship there.

Luo Zhihui, 42, is one of the drought victims. Luo and his family own a fifth of a hectare of rice paddy in rural Qingyuan, and they started planting sweet potato recently.

"Sweet potato doesn't need much water; it can survive in a drought. We're supposed to harvest the rice crop this month but half of the yield has died, so we will have to buy rice from the market for our food," he said.

Luo works at a hotel in the city and returns to the field once a week on his day off; the rest of the time, his parents and wife are responsible for tending the crop. "We need cash for other necessities and to pay for my children's tuition fees. If I don't work in the city, how can we have cash?"

Luo's neighbour Huang Yongsen faces the same hardship. "There is no rain. The land has dried up. Half of the harvest has [gone]. I will have to go to town for work more often; otherwise, we will not have money to buy rice," said Huang, who has previously worked at construction sites during lax times. He believes he will have to head to the city for work more often in the coming months.

For farmers, the drought is a harsh reality. But only 10 kilometres southwest of their fields, in the urban area, drought is merely a novelty, or at worst an embarrassment.

Jacky Lee, assistant manager of Qingyuan's only five-star hotel, the Sofitel, said: "Facing a dry river is rather embarrassing. Guests complain there is no river view any more. Fortunately they understand there isn't much we can do after we explain to them that there hasn't been rain for months."

He stresses it is business as usual for the hotel - and that's true. Gardeners hose the trees and lawns as usual. The pool, steam room and jacuzzi are still open for business. Guests hear no requests to save water.

"We don't have a water shortage, either in this hotel or in this city. Even if there is a water shortage, the government will guarantee the water supply to our hotel," Lee said.

Residents of urban Qingyuan are also unaffected. Xie Liang, a taxi driver, said: "There hasn't been any rain at all. I don't remember when it rained last. That's why the Beijiang is drying up. Of course, there will be problems, but so far we are not affected by the absence of rain."

Yet even if many residents in Guangdong cities and Hong Kong remain unaware of the drought, it is likely to hit urban areas soon. Scientists warned recently that residents of Pearl River Delta cities - including Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Dongguan and Shenzhen - might have to put up with salty tap water because of the drought.

In Zhuhai, the city government has forbidden the use of water for non-essential activities such as street cleaning, fountains and watering plants. Neighbouring Macau is also being urged to cut back on water use.

Ho Kin-chung, dean of science and technology at the Open University of Hong Kong and a veteran researcher on water issues in Guangdong, said he was worried by the general ignorance about, and indifference to, the seriousness of the water shortage among the public and provincial government. "Whenever drought comes, the cities are protected at the expense of the rural area. Hong Kong is also well sheltered.

"On the mainland, at the regional level, governments guarantee water supply to the cities. At the national level, Beijing has an established policy on guaranteeing water supply to Hong Kong. It is precisely this that has made many underestimate the seriousness of the water shortage we are facing. It is bad. It is unfair for the rural population and undermines any serious effort to conserve water. With limited supplies, water shortages are the biggest challenge of the 21st century after climate change."

He added: "The water shortage in Guangdong is serious. There is a misconception that we don't have to worry about water in Guangdong because of its subtropical location with abundant precipitation brought by monsoons. But that is wrong. Rain in Guangdong is highly seasonal and unevenly distributed, and the province does not have sufficient reservoirs to hold the rain."

Unchecked industrialisation and urbanisation, which increase demand for water and cause serious pollution, also contribute to the water shortage. The province's environmental chief, Li Qing, said in 2005 that pollution had seriously damaged Guangdong's water quality.

In 2007, the Guangdong Water Resources Department revealed that half of the Pearl River's urban sections were seriously polluted, and bodies of water within the urban zones of the most industrialised and wealthiest areas - Guangzhou, Dongguan and Shenzhen - were described as "extremely polluted". Only about 20 per cent of the total volume of the province's waste water is treated before being discharged.

"The Pearl River is paying a high cost for being the world's factory," said Edward Chan Yue-fai, Greenpeace's campaign manager. The green group recently released research on water quality in the Pearl River. It said factories in Guangdong were poisoning the water; after analysing 25 samples of waste-water discharge from several industrial sites, it found a "diverse range of hazardous chemicals", including heavy metals linked to brain damage.

"What is very disturbing is that, once released, it is almost impossible to remove these hazardous substances from the environment," said Dr Kevin *******, a scientist at Greenpeace Research Laboratories.

The green group called on the Guangdong government to impose strict environmental regulations and companies to cut their use of hazardous chemicals, or the Pearl River - China's third-longest - would suffer irreversible damage.

Another side effect of industrialisation and urbanisation - population growth - also adds pressure to the water supply. Between 1997 and 2002, nearly eight million people have moved to Guangdong for better economic opportunities. "Economic growth is highly related to water consumption; the richer the place, the more water the people consume," Ho said.

Academics advocate building more reservoirs and raising water fees to ease shortages. But officials prefer to concentrate on building new office towers, residential high-rises and factories. Raising water fees to make people aware there is a price to pay for water is considered politically incorrect, in both Guangdong and Hong Kong.

"The biggest problem is that we put our priority on economic development," Ho said. "For years, we have taken for granted that water will be there when we go to the tap. We have achieved economic growth at the expense of water. We do not realise there is a hidden price, a social cost for our development. Water will run out eventually."
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Old November 15th, 2009, 06:42 AM   #898
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Serviced office providers tap mainland companies
11 November 2009
South China Morning Post

Providers of serviced offices in Hong Kong are tapping into a strong new customer base as growing numbers of mainland firms hunt for cost-effective accommodation for their business operations in the city.

"Previously, about 90 per cent of our clients were either from Hong Kong or overseas," said a spokeswoman at the Cosmopolitan Business and Convention Centre (CBCC).

"Now 50 per cent of our clients are mainland firms, and we are providing office accommodation to more trading companies from Shenyang [Liaoning province] and some cities I have never even heard of in Hebei and Henan provinces," she said.

Other services include a business centre, auditing{sbquo} bookkeeping and accounting functions{sbquo} a corporate secretarial and taxation service{sbquo} and assistance with company set-ups.

"Our clients are looking for flexibility in leasing terms instead of conventional office premises. Some are newcomers just exploring business opportunities in Hong Kong, and they are in the city for business appointments for maybe two days a week," she said.

"Such start-ups are reluctant to commit to taking a large office space for two to three years."

Regus, the world's largest provider of serviced offices, plans to open a new 15,000 sq ft business centre in the International Commerce Centre at Kowloon Station in January.

"We believe we will see more start-ups from overseas or from the mainland reaching into Hong Kong over the next few years," said a spokeswoman.

Regus will also add business centres in Beijing and Tianjin.

Desmond Poon Chi-ming, an associate director of consultancy Chartersince Realty (International), said his firm recently helped two mainland companies lease business centres as temporary offices in Hong Kong.

"They prefer to set up operations in a business centre mainly because of flexibility in leasing terms. These clients are looking for six-month or even shorter leases as a way to test the market," he said.

Companies in this situation prefer the option despite the fact that some business centres in core Central charge at least HK$30,000 a month for a single room or HK$70,000 for a unit to accommodate four people, plus service fees.

"Some will renew a six-month term lease three or four times. They will not sign longer leases until their business plans have been finalised," he said.

Since the global financial crisis, mainland firms had become more interested in serviced office options at a point when an increasing number of foreign firms had either pulled out of their operations in Hong Kong or become cautious about expansion in order to repair their balance sheets at home, Poon said.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 06:58 PM   #899
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Transparency of transactions of uncompleted first-hand residential properties enhanced
Friday, November 20, 2009
Government Press Release

The Transport and Housing Bureau (THB) announced today (November 20) that agreement had been reached with the Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong (REDA) on new measures to further enhance the transparency of transactions of uncompleted first-hand residential properties and the clarity of property information.

Under the new arrangement, developers will be required to make public transactions of uncompleted first-hand residential properties within five working days after the signing of Preliminary Agreements for Sale and Purchase (PASPs).

In addition, REDA also agreed to show the price per square foot/metre in "saleable area" of individual flats on the price lists, and provide floor numbering information in a more prominent manner in the sales brochures of uncompleted first-hand residential flats.

The above new measures will come into effect by end of November 2009.

"The Government is deeply concerned about some recent sales tactics in the first-hand uncompleted residential property market and confusing market information. The new measures will further enhance the transparency of transactions of uncompleted first-hand residential properties and the clarity of property information," a THB spokesman said.

"At present, developers are required under the Lands Department's Consent Scheme to register a duly signed Agreement for Sale and Purchase (ASP) of uncompleted first-hand residential properties in the Land Registry (LR) within one month from the signing of the PASP. There is therefore normally a lead time of about one month before the record of the transactions will be available for public inspection. As a new requirement under REDA's guidelines, developers will be required to provide in their websites and sales offices information on the ASPs within five working days after the signing of the PASPs, so that the public will know about the transactions concerned in a matter of days. Developers will still have to register the ASPs in the LR within one month from the signing of the respective PASPs," the spokesman said.

"At present, only the flat price but not the price per square foot/metre of a flat is shown on the price lists of uncompleted first-hand residential properties. There has been call for greater transparency in the flat price per square foot/metre for uncompleted first-hand residential properties. Under the new requirement of REDA's guidelines, developers will be required to show the flat price per square foot/metre in 'saleable area' of individual flats on the price lists," the spokesman said.

The definition of "saleable area" was standardised under the Consent Scheme on October 10, 2008, to include only the area of the unit, the balcony and the utility platform, if any. Also, developers have been adopting the standardised price list template promulgated by REDA in all uncompleted first-hand residential properties approved for pre-sale under the Consent Scheme since October 10, 2008.

On floor numbering information, developers have been providing in their sales brochures cross-section diagrams of floors which show the total number of storeys of a building and the position of floors, as well as floor numbering information in the "Information for Reference" section in the back part of the sales brochures.

"To further enhance the transparency of floor numbering information in the sales brochures, REDA will require developers to set out the floor numbering information clearly in the section on 'Basic Information of the Development' at the front part of the sales brochure," the spokesman said.
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Old November 24th, 2009, 06:58 PM   #900
hkskyline
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New property rules come at the right time
23 November 2009
South China Morning Post

As Hongkongers have grown richer, their new flats, ironically, have actually been getting smaller. This is because living space in proportion to the gross floor area of their homes has consistently shrunk over the past three decades. Buying a flat is usually the most important financial decision a person can make in his or her lifetime. But flat buyers in Hong Kong are getting less and less for their purchases; developers build ever-bigger - but ill-defined - common areas that eat into the space where people live. This trend needs to be reversed. Belatedly, the government has taken a significant step to improve transparency in the market for uncompleted flats. This will go some way towards creating a fairer market for buyers.

From the end of the month, developers must state the saleable floor area and its price per square foot or metre when their uncompleted flats go on sale. Coupled with an earlier rule that explicitly defines saleable floor area as a flat's internal floor size plus the balcony, the new rule will severely restrict the latitude currently enjoyed by developers in promoting new developments. Mind you, there are still features such as the thickness of walls and utility platforms - built, for example, for air conditioners and washing machines - that may be included in the internal floor area. However, the scope for manipulation is significantly reduced. Under the new rules, the transaction records of flats will also have to be made public within five working days of the sale being confirmed, instead of the current one month.

The price per square foot or metre of saleable area is important information for people buying uncompleted flats. This is because unlike, built flats, potential buyers cannot inspect actual units but only showcase flats. But currently, that vital information is usually revealed only after a sale has been completed. As a rule, developers and their sales agents only list the flat price in terms of its gross floor area in promotional materials. This common practice misleadingly lowers flats' price per square foot to make them look more attractive to buyers.

It is also a deceptive way for developers to make buyers pay for common areas, which could include anything from gardens, play areas and huge clubhouses to management offices, car parks, lift lobbies and staircases, air-conditioning rooms and refuse-collection points. Common areas may also include the extra floor areas developers get for free from the government by incorporating environmental features. As such green features have become a source of widespread abuse, the policy has clearly not worked. It is time for the government to either scrap it, or force developers to provide environmentally friendly facilities by law.

Because of such unscrupulous practices long tolerated by the authorities, the actual size of flats in Hong Kong has shrunk by as much as 22 per cent since the 1980s, according to one study. If we are to become a truly first-class international city, we must improve people's quality of life. This must start at home, literally. People deserve more spacious living areas and value for their property.

Since the start of the global financial crisis, the property markets in Hong Kong and the mainland have bounced back quicker than those of most other major economies. People are, once again, jumping back into the market. In addition to new measures put in place to cool a market in danger of overheating, the government has picked the right time to introduce much-needed rules to make property transactions more transparent and fair.
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