Average selling prices for surplus HOS flats under Phase 2 approved

The following is issued on behalf of the Housing Authority:

     The Housing Authority's Subsidised Housing Committee today (July 12) approved the average selling prices for 3,255 surplus Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) flats to be put up for sale in August under Phase 2 in 2007.

     The flats comprise 810 unsold flats in Kingsford Terrace Stage II in Wong Tai Sin, 275 unsold flats in Ka Keng Court in Sha Tin and 2,170 returned flats scattered in various HOS courts.

     "Following the pricing guiding principles approved last year and the practice for Phase 1 in January this year, the sale price of the HOS flats is set with reference to affordability of eligible buyers as measured by their mortgage repayment ability," the Chairman of Subsidised Housing Committee, Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung said.

     By offering a discount of 30% to the assessed market values, the average prices for Kingsford Terrace Stage II and Ka Keng Court are $32,200 and $26,950 per square metre of saleable area respectively (see table 1).

     For the returned flats in various HOS courts, their average selling prices, also based on a price discount of 30% to the assessed market values, range from $13,130 to $36,400 per square metre of saleable area. (Average prices for the courts with larger numbers of returned flats are highlighted in table 2).

     "We consider the average selling prices as approved by the committee today are reasonable and in line with the market trend. In arriving at the assessed market values of the flats, due regard has been given to the fact that the surplus HOS flats have been completed for some time, and that the returned flats have been occupied before," Professor Cheung said.

     At today's meeting, members of the committee also endorsed other sales related arrangements.

     The quota allocation between Green Form (GF) and White Form (WF) applicants at 80:20 as adopted in Phase 1 will be maintained, with any unfilled GF quota being passed to WF applicants or vice versa.

     The order of priority for flat selection by category of applicants is also same as in Phase 1, with family households being allowed to select flats before one-person households.

     The committee also endorsed a new measure to ensure a fair allocation of valuable housing resources by preventing public rental housing (PRH) tenants newly-housed through the Express Flat Allocation Scheme (EFAS) from jumping queue in the purchase of surplus HOS flats.

     Starting from the EFAS exercise conducted from 2007-08 onwards, Green Form applicants who obtain a PRH flat from this faster channel offered to Waiting List applicants for PRH accommodation will be put under the White Form queue in the flat selection order, if they apply for the purchase of surplus HOS flats within three years from taking up the PRH flat.

     The committee also approved an updated HOS income and asset limits for White Form applicants, bringing some of the limits for certain categories of applicants into line with the corresponding Waiting List income and asset limits.

     Some unfurnished show flats and one flat with moderate decoration will be made available respectively in Kingsford Terrace and Ka Keng Court for viewing during application and flat selection periods.

     "As about two-thirds of the flats for sale are returned flats sold on 'as-is' basis, the authority will take a customer-friendly approach to enhance their marketability," Professor Cheung said, adding that different sale activities would be conducted in three stages.

     Photos showing the internal conditions of each returned flat will be uploaded onto the authority website for reference by prospective purchasers at the application stage.

     During the pre-selection stage after the balloting of applications, applicants are allowed to view some designated returned flats in eight major courts by prior appointment.

     "This is to enhance potential purchasers' understanding of the general condition of the flats before their turn for the actual flat selection," Professor Cheung said.

     At the flat selection stage, applicants may view the particular returned flat they have selected to buy before the signing of the agreement for sale and purchase.

     As for all the unoccupied new flats, the authority will carry out pre-sale defects rectification and maintenance work to bring them to a reasonable standard before handover to purchasers. A one-year defects liability period from the date of assignment of individual flats will also be provided.

     For the returned flats, general checking of building services and cleansing works will be carried out before handover to purchasers. However, defects liability period will not be provided as they are sold on "as-is" basis.

     Application for purchase will be invited around mid August and the selection of flats by successful applicants is scheduled to commence in early October this year. Further details for the application will be announced later this month.

     At today's meeting, Members also discussed the operation of the Quota and Points System (QPS) for non-elderly one-person applicants of Public Rental Housing (PRH). It was noted that the QPS had a positive impact on safeguarding the rational allocation of public housing resources.

     In particular, the SHC noted that with the implementation of the QPS, the number of newly registered non-elderly individuals applying for PRH on their own has reduced quite substantially from 5,300 in Q2 of 2005-06 to 2,500 in Q4 of 2006-07.

     Meanwhile, the number of newly-registered non-elderly one-person applicants living in PRH has also reduced from 1,900 in Q2 of 2005-06 to 300 in Q4 of 2006-07. Members endorsed that the QPS arrangement be continued.

Ends/Thursday, July 12, 2007
Issued at HKT 16:29