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Old August 11th, 2010, 05:48 PM   #1001
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Steps to turn property deals transparent
The Standard
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Developers will have to disclose from tomorrow two more pieces of sales information after reaching a consensus with the government to boost transparency.

They will have to disclose information on any canceled deals within five working days after a preliminary agreement for purchase is terminated, the Transport and Housing Bureau said.

The new requirement is looser than the originally proposed 24 hours, which was later scrapped as developers found it too harsh.

Henderson Land (0012) general manager for property development Augustine Wong Ho-ming told Cable TV the measures were reasonable.

In the second disclosure, developers must state the estimated date of completion of a development five days after signing the agreement to sell a unit.

Any changes to the estimated completion date will have to be updated within five working days.

Both the steps come under the Lands Department's consent scheme and REDA's guidelines.

Cheung Kong Holdings (0001) earlier delayed the estimated completion date of Le Prestige in Tseung Kwan O by a month, citing adverse weather conditions. Over 100 homeowners publicly expressed their discontent for not being able to move in as scheduled.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 05:53 PM   #1002
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Starter loans key to buying flats, say young
The Standard
Friday, August 13, 2010

About seven in 10 young people believe the government should reintroduce the Home Starter Loan Scheme to help them buy flats.

A survey of 351 people aged 21 to 35 also found that nearly 60 percent said they will not be able to afford their own flats in five years, compared with only a quarter who expect they will become property owners soon.

The loan scheme, launched in 1998 and stopped in 2002, offered loans of HK$600,000 or up to 30 percent of the property price, whichever was lower.

The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong survey, conducted between late July and this month, found that nearly half of respondents want to make the downpayment using their own savings, while about 32 percent hoped a reintroduced loan scheme would help, up from around 20 percent in 2008. About 70 percent said reintroducing home-buying loans is the right thing to do.

The government should also revive the Home Ownership Scheme, which provided 5,000 flats a year, the survey found.

Meanwhile, the DAB urged the government to use part of the Kai Tak site to resettle residents affected by urban renewal in neighboring districts under a flat or shop exchange scheme.

This will offer one more option to those affected by redevelopment, in addition to cash compensation. The proposal is more feasible than the government's plan to give priority to residents affected by redevelopment in buying new flats in the redeveloped buildings, legislator Starry Lee Wai-king said.

The party will formally present the suggestion to Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen next week.
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Old August 14th, 2010, 06:08 PM   #1003
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Columbarium planned for historic houses
Residents seek stop to conversion of heritage homes into urn repositories

14 August 2010
South China Morning Post

Work has begun on converting a cluster of Yuen Long village houses into a columbarium, in what is the latest of a wave of private ash repositories springing up in sensitive or historic sites.

One of the four houses, which the Antiquities and Monuments Office has proposed for listing as a grade three historic site, has had all its distinctive architectural features bricked over, while lands and town planning officials try to work out whether such use is allowed on the San Wai Tsuen site.

The developers have already run into trouble with the Buildings Department, which has given them two months to demolish an unauthorised entrance hall erected next to the remodelled house at 60 San Wai Tsuen.

Neighbouring villagers who are refusing to sell their houses to the developers are also upset about the work and plan to protest against it tomorrow.

"The houses should be preserved as a heritage area instead of used as urn sites," said Tse Man-fu, who grew up in the village and is planning the protest.

Tse said his great-grandfather built the house at No 61 in the 1930s and his mother was still living there. He is preparing to take legal action against the company over ownership of the house.

The developments follow an announcement in April by Aptus Holdings, a company listed on the Growth Enterprise Market, detailing a plan to convert several sites, including four historic houses in San Wai Tsuen, to provide 69,000 "boxes", or niches.

The antiquities office noted preparation for construction at the No 60 site in a 2004 assessment record, saying: "Hopefully the appearance of the house will not be changed, as it is a rare mixed-style house with built heritage value."A visit to the site on Wednesday revealed that the verandahs, the pitched roof and window frames - all characteristic of the Qing vernacular style - from the 1930s were covered by new brick walls. An excavator was levelling the field in front of the house. Aptus chairman Lam Wai-pong said the company was not aware No 60 was on the heritage list.

"We did not receive any information from officials on this," Lam said. "We will not undo the sealing of the windows, because we have to make sure we can control the lighting."

About 200 funeral urn niches have already been sold.

Work is expected to be completed this year, and the company will continue to buy up land in the area. It started after the company acquired the assets of Casdon Management in May for HK$1.085 billion.

The renovation will cost HK$45 million.

While the grading of No 60 is yet to be confirmed, the rest of the four houses the company acquired were designated grade two or three status in May, with their group value with seven other houses in the village recognised.

The company would do similar conversion work to the three other graded buildings it owned, he said, unless the government had other recommendations.

Lam also said his company, backed by senior counsel familiar with land law, was ready to argue for the legality of the columbarium. The lawyers said the sites' village-type development zoning permitted ancestral halls or a shrine. The company was seeking professional advice about the demolition order for the entrance hall.

It was trying to gain the villagers' support by offering half-price or free niches to them.

Henry Lo Ka-yu, a researcher in architectural conservation at Chinese University, said he was concerned heritage buildings would lose authenticity because of unguided renovation work.

Lo said the houses had some architectural merit, including one house that had floor tiles similar to those in Wan Chai's 1920s Blue House. The village's establishment was reminiscent of that of Kaiping, a town with fortified multiple-storey buildings and a Unesco world heritage site, he added.

Democratic Party legislator Lee Wing-tat said it would be too slow if the government continued to adopt a case-by-case approach on heritage and nature conservation.

It was time officials reviewed their policy and identified priority sites for conservation funded by public and private contributions, he said.
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Old August 14th, 2010, 07:10 PM   #1004
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Healing slow for flood-hit villagers
6 August 2010
South China Morning Post

Relief supplies and government support have made life easier for most of the Sha Po Chai Tsuen residents whose lives were turned upside down by flash flooding two weeks ago. But for some, the healing will take longer.

The wife of Lam Wing-yick, one of four people killed across the city, said the flood changed her life and inflicted "an eternal loss of family warmth".

"The truth must come out as to who was responsible," she said.

A fellow Sha Po Chai Tsuen villager, Ng Chui-tung, described yesterday how she had been playing mahjong with friends on the first floor of a house next to hers and became "desperate" when she saw floodwaters appear and rapidly rise to window level. The water poured into her two-storey home and remained inside after the flood receded, held back by closed doors.

She was speaking in the area that was once the garden of her house, a small papaya farm where she liked to while away her leisure hours; now it is a sea of rubble, with all the papaya plants swept away. "It's very saddening to see everything gone," she said.

The Ng family is one of about 90 in the village affected by Typhoon Chanthu, which caused sudden floods across the city on July 22. Villagers said the flood was the biggest they had experienced and blamed government drainage work because "there hadn't been a problem before the work". They suspected rocks from the site had blocked the river and caused the flood.

The Drainage Services Department cleared the river last week and said future floods would not result in the same water level.

Social and residents' groups have delivered aid to help the villagers. The Federation of Hong Kong Guangdong Community Organisations gave each household HK$5,000 and a bag of rice yesterday.

Earlier this week, three residents groups, including the Hong Kong China OSJ Aids Foundation, delivered HK$100,000 worth of supplies such as electric fans, rice cookers and instant noodles to villagers. The Jockey Club last week offered HK$20,000 through its emergency relief fund to the 69 households worst affected.

As a result, about 70 families forced from their homes have moved back in, but a few still had to stay with relatives, Tai Po district councillor Chan Siu-kuen said.

Having spent more than a week working on their house, Ng's family of four have still not moved back in because none of the electrical appliances are working and the windows and doors remain to be fixed.

She said she hoped insurance would pay for the damage, which could amount to more than HK$100,000, because she did not have enough money.

"I now understand what it feels like to have nothing," she said. "The government has asked me if we want to move into a public estate - as a neighbour has - but I like it here. People are so nice that we don't have to close our doors at night."

A departmental investigation into the cause of the flooding is due to be completed in about five weeks.
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Old August 16th, 2010, 05:43 PM   #1005
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Property poses problems
The Standard
Monday, August 16, 2010

The government has imposed fresh measures to curb speculation in the local property market, where prices are beyond the means of ordinary people.

Consider the situation in Singapore where the Housing and Development Board was set up in the 1960s to provide low-cost but good-quality public housing.

More than 80 percent of the 4.9 million population now live in over 900,000 HDB flats. Most paid for their homes solely with savings from the Central Provident Fund.

Dr Check believes many Singaporeans enjoy a stable life because they own cheap, spacious and affordable homes.

Hong Kong has built low-rent housing estates for the less well off. But people in the middle class have struggled to buy their own flats. And speculative bubbles created enormous profit-making opportunities in the last 25 years. But many who bought flats at the wrong time suffered hardship from late 1998 to mid-2003 when unemployment rose and salaries were cut.

Sino Land (0083) came to Hong Kong when opportunities in Singapore were limited.

Generally, however, the share prices of Hong Kong developers have not performed well in the last three years.

Only Hang Lung Properties (0101) has risen to near its 2007 peak. I recommend buying its shares on every dip.

Dr Check and/or The Standard bear no responsibility for any investment decision made based on the views expressed in this column.
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Old August 17th, 2010, 01:24 PM   #1006
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Greens cut MTR flats to size
The Standard
Monday, August 16, 2010

At least 70 percent of flats at MTR property sites should be smaller ones of 500 square feet or below to better meet local demand.

That is the call from environmental group Green Sense, which has urged a government mandate to this effect.

Of the 19 properties developed by the MTR Corp since 2001, at least 14 are half taken up by large three-bedroom flats, the group says.

President Roy Tam Hoi-pong said: "The average area of the flats we inspected is 855 square feet, not including extra facilities such as car parks and terraces."

Tam said many three-bedroom flats packaged as luxury properties do not have as high an actual area as claimed. Also, the extra space they take up may be used to build more small two-bedroom homes instead.

"The government should allocate the land and construct more for the general public, and not mainly for Hong Kong and mainland investors. Building more large units would reduce the total units released."

According to Tam, two large flats can be replaced by three smaller ones: "The government should construct more two-bedroom flats to increase the overall property supply and meet Hongkongers' demand.

"For the sake of the environment and prevention of the heat-island effect, we urge the government to mandate developers on land leases to build at least 70 percent of flats with 500 square feet or below."

Large flats mean more usage of concrete, which absorbs heat, raising the overall temperature. "Residents have to turn on air- conditioners, which in turn damage the environment," Tam said.

Former Hong Kong Institute of Planners vice-president Pong Yuen-yee said people prefer MTR properties for the convenient transport network, but the public should not bear the cost for investors.

"Hong Kong is small and our land is precious. Therefore, it should be appropriately used, targeting the masses," he said.

The construction of large buildings with car parks and terraces blocks wind circulation, Pong added.

Green Sense will also protest against the auction of two Hung Hom and Argyle Street sites tomorrow as likely developers plan to build mainly large flats there, Tam said.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 12:45 PM   #1007
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Developer pounces as new law takes effect
19 August 2010
South China Morning Post

It may not be The Peak but for tenants of a run-down 57-year-old low-rise in North Point it's home. Now under a new rule on property acquisitions that is about to change.

The buildings will be the first to be redeveloped under the city's new compulsory acquisition rules, which lowers the percentage of flats a developer has to acquire in a particular building that's at least 50 years old before they can make the hold-outs sell up.

In this case the developer Soundwill Holdings has accumulated 87.9 per cent ownership, equal to seven out of eight flats, in two adjoining buildings at 13 and 15 Mercury Street.

That was enough to trigger the new compulsory sale rule in which the threshold to force a sale was lowered to 80 per cent of a building's flats from 90 per cent. The rule came into effect on April 1. Some tenants complained they would not be able to find accommodation in the area.

Soundwill plans to redevelop the buildings into a hotel or a commercial project. The firm did not disclose what it was paying the owners.

A man who declined to give his full name said he and his wife and a daughter had rented a 200 sq ft room in the building at 13 Mercury Street for eight years.

"At first, we were told to leave on August 7, but now the landlord has agreed to extend for several months."

He said the landlord had divided the 1,000 sq ft flat into five rooms ranging from 80 sq ft to 200 sq ft and charged between HK$1,000 and HK$2,000 a month.

"The monthly rental of HK$2,000 accounts for one-third of my salary."

He said it was impossible for him to find another room in the same area at that price. He hopes the landlord, who had agreed to sell the flat to Soundwill can offer him compensation. "The landlord is certainly earning big money from the sale of the unit," he said.

Lee Lai-hing, a 71-year-old Chinese herbal medicine practitioner, said that he was staying put for the moment. He began renting his 900 sq ft ground-floor shop at 15 Mercury Street in 1991 and his lease does not expire until December next year.

"I don't care about the compulsory sale as I have the right to stay here until the lease expires," he said. He said the landlord had approached him only several weeks ago about the sale.

"We are in discussions {hellip} I will not move if the compensation is not good," said Lee, who did not say how much he wanted.

He said the landlord charged him HK$26,700 a month.

"There is no way I can lease a similar sized shop in the area at the same rental," he said.

Vivian Chan, executive director of Soundwill, declined to comment, saying that the tenants should negotiate terms with the landlord.

"There is only one unit that is still unsold at 13 Mercury Street and therefore we have applied for the compulsory sale law," she said. As of August 17 seven compulsory land sale applications had been lodged with the Lands Tribunal since April 1.

Charles Chan, managing director of Savills Valuation and Professional Services, expected developers would become more active in redeveloping old projects in urban areas after the relaxation of the compulsory sale rule.

"Previously, securing 90 per cent ownership of a property before they could apply for a forced sale was extremely difficult," he said.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 08:15 PM   #1008
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Land supply up as auction stokes fears
The Standard
Thursday, August 19, 2010

The government has vowed to further increase land supply in response to public fears over the effectiveness of recent property curbs.

Acting Financial Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said that while the enthusiastic bidding seen in Tuesday's land auction may be a sign of market optimism, it also reflected developers' evaluation of prospects for the two lots put up for sale.

She stressed the government has been trying its best to increase land supply via the application list system as well as taking a pro-active approach to putting sites on the market. "At present, we're very confident supply next year will be higher than the 9,000 homes available under the current land application list."

Apart from six prime plots announced in the budget, two more sites, suitable for smaller homes, and a Hung Hom site will be auctioned off, while tenders will be called for a Yuen Long site with home-size restrictions soon, she said.

The two sites sold on Tuesday went to Cheung Kong Holdings (0001) for HK$7.61 billion, beating estimates.

Credit Suisse analysts said the better- than-expected results were "embarrassing" for the government.

Credit Suisse expects stiffer measures in the offing, but believes moves such as higher stamp duties for luxury homes will have only a marginal effect.

To ease public concern, the government will resume building Home Ownership Scheme units on a limited scale and with income caps, it said.

DBS Vickers said the potential resumption of HOS flat construction could result in a long-term overhang over the mass residential market.

Its analyst, Jeff Yau, believes it should be high home prices - not land prices - that trigger more cooling steps.

CLSA reiterated its underweight call on developers amid the determination to raise land supply and change policies.

"The auction may affect short-term sentiment, but we see any auction- prompted share price rally as a good exit opportunity," said CLSA's Susanna Leung.

But JPMorgan is upbeat about home prices given low interest rates, rising rents and inflation, and recommends accumulating stocks on weakness.

It believes Cheung Kong has a potential cashcow in two buildings next to the Hung Hom site it bought on Tuesday that it presently uses as serviced suites. The 2.4 million square foot total gross floor in the buildings can generate HK$17 billion if sold off.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 05:41 AM   #1009
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Longer list hints at lot more flats
The Standard
Friday, August 20, 2010

Developers are likely to have nearly 20 more sites to choose from next year, as the government tries to increase homes supply.

The Development Bureau is preparing to revise the land application list for 2011, a source told Sing Tao Daily, sister publication of The Standard.

The initial proposal is to add three to four plots each in Tseung Kwan O, Tuen Mun East and Ho Man Tin.

Eddie Hui Chi-man, professor at Polytechnic University's building and real estate department, applauded the potential move.

"This is a response to market demand," said Hui, adding more plots should be put on the list so they can be triggered for auction.

Acting Financial Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who is also development chief, said on Wednesday the government has been trying to increase land supply via the application list system as well as taking a pro-active approach to putting sites on the market.

The government normally sets a reserve price for a site at 80 percent of its valuation. If any developer offers a higher price, the site is triggered for auction. Hui said next year's application list may provide for between 11,000 and 12,000 flats. Lam has indicated supply will be higher than the current list's 9,000 homes.

Hui noted the inclusion of sites in Tuen Mun East may be a direct response to the widespread anger from aspiring homebuyers, but sites in Tseung Kwan O are not necessarily cheap, let alone Ho Man Tin.

Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016) bought a Ho Man Tin site for HK$10.9 billion in in June, while another plot in the district went to Cheung Kong Holdings (0001) for a better-than- expected HK$4.1 billion this week.

SHKP also won a site in Tseung Kwan O in February for HK$3.4 billion, or HK$4,628 per buildable square foot.

Hui said the government may stipulate that developers build a larger number of smaller flats.

While there are concerns that auctions may have played a part in pushing up prices, Hui said they are better than tenders because they are simpler and more transparent.

Tenders for a Yuen Long government site that has a cap on home sizes will start soon, Lam said.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 07:04 PM   #1010
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Public works
12 August 2010
South China Morning Post

The Civil Engineering and Development Department has awarded a HK$99 million contract for the construction of a river wall at Tai O to Mannings (Asia) Consultants. The 200-metre river wall is being built to alleviate the flooding risk in the fishing village, especially during the summer rainy season. The works will also include provision of drainage and sewerage systems behind the river wall and upgrading of the temple garden in front of Kwan Tai Temple. They will take about 22 months to complete.
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Old August 21st, 2010, 06:57 PM   #1011
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Owners warned to be realistic
20 August 2010
South China Morning Post

The local property market continues to sizzle, and Cheung Kong added fuel to the fire when it purchased two luxury residential sites in Ho Man Tin and Hung Hom for HK$7.61 billion at a government land auction on Tuesday.

The unexpectedly high price was 20 per cent higher than market forecasts, and this is expected to drive local property prices even higher.

However, experts warn that luxury property owners should not set their expectations too high for big returns.

"The property market is looking good, but property owners should still be realistic. Prices of properties that have increased by 3 to 5 per cent are considered reasonable, but anything above that is unrealistic," says Shiu Ka-kuen, StatelyHome's assistant district director for Mid-Levels West at Centaline.

New flats of about 600 sqft in Mid-Levels West could cost between HK$8,500 and HK$12,000 per square foot, depending on the view.

Larger flats in buildings more than 40 years old would cost about HK$11,000 per square foot.

Sun Hung Kai Properties' new residential complex, Larvotto in Island South, has also caused property prices to increase after a majority of the project's flats were snapped up shortly after going on the market.

Some owners have pulled their properties off the market to sell at a later date, and this has also caused property transactions to drop in Mid-Levels West.

According to Centaline, there have been about 100 property transactions thus far this month, compared with about 150 during the same period last month. One property that is still available is a lower floor 1,006 sqft flat at Skyview Cliff on 49 Conduit Road.

The asking price is HK$9.5 million, or about HK$9,400 per square foot.

The owners have converted three bedrooms into one master bedroom with an en-suite bathroom. The flat has an open view facing Conduit Road and facilities include a swimming pool. The flat has just been put on the market and Centaline believes it will be sold soon at the asking price.

"The flat will be able to fetch the asking price, with maybe a 3 per cent increase or decrease," Shiu says. Skyview Cliff was completed in 1995 and has 24 floors. The flats on the top floor have sea views and cost about HK$11,000 per square foot.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 07:13 PM   #1012
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Cooling measures likely to have a limited effect
22 August 2010
South China Morning Post

New government measures were introduced with much fanfare slightly more than a week ago to rein in property prices, but already their effectiveness is being questioned. The number of transactions at the most popular private estates dropped noticeably, but higher-than-expected land sales on Tuesday look like reviving market enthusiasm. Already, home sellers have reportedly marked up their prices in Hung Hom and Ho Man Tin after Cheung Kong, the city's second- largest developer, successfully bid for two prime sites in those districts.

Cheung Kong is paying HK$7.61 billion for the two sites, exceeding the market forecast by at least 20 per cent. This is clearly a bullish bet that the property market will continue to rise. The auction was supposed to be a subdued affair after the government measures, but when a developer of this stature puts its money where its mouth is, its action is far more persuasive to market participants and speculators than any government cooling measures.

Certainly, it is desirable a slowdown in home prices is desirable at this time. Market players and economists can debate endlessly about whether a bubble exists in our property market but what is clear is that runaway prices are causing social discontent. Home ownership is increasingly beyond the reach of ordinary people. Even a couple with a reasonable income now find it difficult to find an affordable home. Many middle-class families and first-time homebuyers feel frustrated. As a result, property developers and government officials have increasingly come under attack. Regardless of whether such criticism is justified, the anger and frustration is real.

Mindful of such discontent, the government has rolled out cooling measures twice since April. Developers were told to give timely and transparent information to prospective buyers; stamp duty and mortgage down payments were increased; rules on the resale of uncompleted flats were tightened. All these measures are sensible, but clearly not sufficient. Strong economic fundamentals exist to support high property prices. Low interest rates, tight new housing supply, high liquidity in the system and the threat of inflation - all these contribute to boosting prices.

More importantly, the government has promised to release more land for auction. But a fundamental conflict of interest exists for the government. It needs robust land sales to sustain revenue, but large developers are unlikely to pay exorbitant prices if they think the supply of land will grow drastically. The last thing the government wants is to undermine market confidence and the hard-earned assets of home-owning families. Officials, therefore, have to perform a fine balancing act. Most likely, they will continue to sell select prime sites at high prices. But it should make available smaller plots in less desirable areas for the development of less expensive flats. It is unlikely, though, to revive the Home Ownership Scheme.

In a low-interest environment with high liquidity and limited leverage, officials are fighting against strong fundamental economic forces. Today, many buyers, especially those from the mainland, are loaded with cash. Any government cooling measures are likely, at best, to have a limited effect. The gradual release of more land may be the least disruptive to the property market. But it will be a challenge to make available more affordable homes without undermining confidence in the property market or seriously intervening in it.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 09:28 PM   #1013
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Sorry hkskyline, but why do you keep on posting irrelevant news articles? It's great that you want to contribute to the forums and all but all these articles filling up each chinese thread seems like spam to me... What i think readers would want the most is updates and projects with renders. Please keep that in mind because right now I think a lot of people are avoiding the chinese cities threads... I don't mean to offend you or anything like that.
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 08:13 AM   #1014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insane alex View Post
Sorry hkskyline, but why do you keep on posting irrelevant news articles? It's great that you want to contribute to the forums and all but all these articles filling up each chinese thread seems like spam to me... What i think readers would want the most is updates and projects with renders. Please keep that in mind because right now I think a lot of people are avoiding the chinese cities threads... I don't mean to offend you or anything like that.
cheers!
These are projects and developments. Yes, they're relevant. If you want pictures, others are posting pictures as well. Not all projects have renderings. Not all projects have gotten to that stage yet. I'd be more than happy to post more pictures but oftentimes they are just not available. Reality is not so idealistic after all.
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 08:30 PM   #1015
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紅磡收舊樓涉逾千伙
2010年08月19日(四)


Residential development plots are rare in the urban areas. 8 sets of older buildings along 5 streets in Hung Hom are slated for expropriation for development, involving about 1100 units. About 20% of residents have agreed to be expropriated. The oldest buildings are about 54 years old, while unit sizes range from 254-982 square feet.

Residents who have agreed to be exporpriated will receive 50k in a temporary deposit.


市區住宅發展地皮罕有,其中日前剛錄得地皮以理想價售出的紅磡區,消息人士透露,區內機利士南路及寶其利街等五條街共八個舊樓地盤,獲舊樓收購中介公司田生集團提出收購,合共涉及近1,100伙,料收購價需約48億元,是次收購規模為近年首見,而現時範圍內已有近20%業主簽署臨時買賣合約。

消息人士表示,田生集團是次收購的範圍包括機利士南路2至50號、黃埔街1至41號、福至街2B至40A號、必嘉街75至85號和76至90號,以及寶其利街2至22A號,地盤面積合共近12.18萬方呎,該批舊樓樓齡達約五十四年,涉及單位共約1,078伙,每伙面積由254至982方呎不等。


紅磡機利士南路等五條街共八個舊樓地盤獲收購,共涉及約千伙。



據悉,田生提出收購範圍內的物業業主,近一周已接獲田生集團發出的收購通知,初步接納收購的每名業主可即時獲發5萬元臨時訂金,短短一周已吸引逾200名業主簽約出售單位,估計涉及已派發的臨時訂金暫已超過1,100萬元。

上述收購範圍若以可重建住宅地積比率九倍計算,重建後樓面達約109.58萬方呎,屬市區罕有大型住宅地盤,不論收購規模及涉及金額均為多年以來市場首見,更為田生集團收購舊樓以來最大規模的一次,預計該項目將成為大型發展商的囊中物。
樓齡54年可申強拍

由於該批項目樓齡約達五十四年,只要成功收購達80%業權,便可申請強制拍賣。

事實上,日前兩幅市區豪宅地皮以理想價成交,其中紅磡灣填海區地皮以每方呎樓面地價逾9,500元售出,創區內新高樓面呎價,頓令紅磡區的發展潛力被睇高一線。
中央樓全幢料26億

而田生集團是次提出的收購項目規模龐大,較該公司早前購併的銅鑼灣中央樓,不論收購金額或伙數均多出約一倍;同獲田生集團收購的銅鑼灣中央樓,全幢料涉及收購價約26億元。

至於獲恒地出價收購的西半山美麗臺,市場料成功收購需涉資達約40億元。資料顯示,該項目約一年已錄超過110伙登記轉手,涉資逾22億元。另外,觀塘道啟德大廈大型重建項目,近月亦獲具中資背景的王新興集團擬以逾12億元,收購逾八成業權。
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 10:25 PM   #1016
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OMA Reveals Plans for a New Cultural District in Hong Kong

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The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority unveiled today OMA’s conceptual masterplan for a major new arts district in Hong Kong. Under OMA’s plan – one of three competing proposals – the 40 hectare waterfront site facing Victoria Harbour would become an authentic environment of three urban villages embedded in a new public park, Hong Kong’s largest.

OMA founding partner Rem Koolhaas commented: “Using the village – a typology every citizen of Hong Kong is familiar with – as the model for our plan allows us to absorb the massive scale of WKCD’s ambition into manageable portions and forge deep connections with Kowloon, whose vital urban energy will be the lifeblood of WKCD.”

Art in the east

One of the key elements of OMA’s proposal for WKCD is M+, an experimental new museum interpreted as a barcode of overlapping bands featuring visual art, film, design and popular culture. Embedded in M+ is an Art Factory, where education, artist studios, a hotel and shops intersect and interact with the museum itself. Beneath M+, the Exhibition Centre is a venue for auctions and conventions, a further intermingling of culture and commerce. M+ links to Kowloon Park and to the surrounding neighbourhood with pedestrian bridges – one of them an extension of the park, one an extension of the museum itself – into Jordan and to Temple Street, and across Canton Road to an outpost of the museum in Victoria Towers.

Market in the middle

The Middle Village is conceived as a continuation of Kowloon’s street markets, with small-scale entertainment, local shops, restaurants, street markets, artist studios, production spaces, and galleries. The Middle Village is flanked by a Xiqu Theatre (and a Xiqu School) for Cantonese performance and, to the east, a premiere movie theatre celebrating Hong Kong’s film industry.

Performance in the west

With views over the water and Victoria Harbour, the focal point of Theatre Village is the Universal Theatre, a network of four interconnected performance spaces: chamber music theatre, street theatre, grand theatre and a concert hall. Each venue is embedded in a single, continuous outdoor lobby stretching the length of the village. Below the lobby, the public can tour the shared rehearsal, production and technical spaces for all four theatres.

The Mega Performance Venue

Located in parkland between the West and Middle Villages, the Mega Performance Venue is an open-air amphitheatre based on the ancient Greek and Roman model. It seats 15,000 people for large scale entertainment ranging from pop concerts to New Year’s celebrations with views over Hong Kong Island as its natural backdrop.

Park of the New Horizon

All three villages are embedded in a single park, which connects with Kowloon Park via a planted green bridge to form the largest public green space in Hong Kong. WKCD’s Park of the New Horizon offers a space liberated from the commercial, and also from the wealth of interdictions familiar in most of Hong Kong’s open space. We draw from tropical agriculture and the fishponds of the Mai Po wetlands not only as a repertoire of species and cultivation methods, but as a mechanism for organizing communal action. Forest gardens, orchards, ponds, meadows, and even communal urban farming are all connected by paths for pedestrians and cyclists.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 01:15 AM   #1017
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Looks really nice! Hehe, the new to towers look like baby highrises compared to the other existing skyscrapers. :P
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Old August 24th, 2010, 05:02 AM   #1018
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We have a dedicated thread on the West Kowloon Cultural District in the General Developments section. Please feel free to post here : http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=222600

Thanks for your support.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 06:43 PM   #1019
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Home sales without down payments urged
24 August 2010
South China Morning Post

The government should consider building new flats that low-income, first-time buyers can purchase without a down payment, a think tank close to Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has proposed.

This is among six measures suggested by the Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre to help households earning too much to qualify for a public rental flat and less than the limit for the former "sandwich class" housing scheme.

"We realise that many people can afford to pay for their flat monthly but they cannot afford the down payment," foundation chairman Anthony Wu Ting-yuk said.

A four-person family with household income between HK$16,916 and HK$39,000, for example, would be eligible for the proposed measures.

The think tank also suggested the government allow homebuyers to make a once-only withdrawal of all or part of their Mandatory Provident Fund savings to make a down payment. "This is because property can be a life-long asset for retired people too," the centre's secretary-general, Gregory Leung Wing-lup, said.

If a buyer sells the property within a specified period, say five years, he or she would have to put the withdrawn amount back into the MPF account.

The prices of private residential flats have surged nearly 40 per cent in the past 18 months, the centre said, while wages recently have risen only 1-3 per cent. The average price for a new flat in the first six months of the year was HK$7.87 million and for a second-hand flat HK$3.36 million.

"What worries us most is the widening of the affordability gap as the median mortgage-to-income ratio continues to go up," Wu said.

Rents have also surged, the centre said, with average private housing rent rising 32 per cent from HK$14.24 per square foot in January last year to HK$18.81 per square foot last month.

The think tank also suggested a shared ownership scheme, based on a British system under which a buyer can part-buy and part-rent a home.

Wu said the scheme could be run by a statutory body such as the Mortgage Corporation or the Mandatory Provident Fund Authority. Eligible applicants could buy 50 per cent of a flat while the rest was owned by the body, to which the buyer would pay a concessionary rent. The buyer could buy the other 50 per cent within a fixed period, using the rent for as part of the final payment.

Other suggestions include encouraging the building of cheaper, "no frills" premises without luxurious features such as club houses and sky gardens, as well as waiving stamp duty payment and providing mortgage relief for first-time home purchasers. It also urged the government to increase land supply.

The centre said it would submit the proposal to the chief executive, who announced in May a public consultation on possible subsidies for would-be homeowners. The consultation will end next month.
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Old August 25th, 2010, 04:54 AM   #1020
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Tsz Tin Tsuen to be cleared in September
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Government Press Release









The Government served notices today (August 24) to the occupiers of Tsz Tin Tsuen in Tuen Mun Area 54 Site 2, informing them that the Government would clear the site on September 9, 2010.

The site is required for the construction of about 5,000 public rental housing flats for completion by 2016 to meet the Housing Authority's housing programme.

A government spokesman said: "All statutory procedures for the clearance operation have been duly taken. All the affected lots were resumed either under Lands Resumption Ordinance or Roads (Works, Use and Compensation) Ordinance and reverted to the Government on July 17, 2009. Clearance notices were first posted on July 2, 2010, requiring the occupiers to cease occupation before August 3, 2010.

"Clearance action was launched on August 3, 2010. To allow more time for the occupiers to prepare for removal, the Government has so far only taken action to repossess vacant premises where the occupiers have agreed to move out before the clearance date.

"However, for the timely production of about 5,000 public rental housing flats by 2016, there can be no more delay in taking over the site," the spokesman said.

In accordance with prevailing compensation policy for land resumption, the Government, as an alternative to statutory compensation, has offered ex-gratia compensation at a rate of $474 per square foot to 69 former land owners affected by this project.

So far, 37 former land owners have accepted the Government's offers. Discussions with the remaining 32 former land owners are still going on.

Rehousing or ex-gratia allowance have also been offered to the 49 eligible households and six business undertakings of Tsz Tin Tsuen according to the established policy.

The spokesman stressed that there was no possibility of making an increase in the ex-gratia compensation rate. Neither would it be possible to defer the clearance as the housing project was already behind schedule.

"Any further delay would have an adverse impact on the three-year average waiting time for those on the public housing waiting list," he said.
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