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Programme for sale of surplus HOS flats under Phase 5

The following is issued on behalf of the Housing Authority:

     The Housing Authority Subsidised Housing Committee (SHC) today (March 27) approved the sale of about 1,400 surplus Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) flats under Phase 5 in the fourth quarter of this year.

     The SHC approved in January 2006 the sale of about 16,600 surplus HOS flats in phases from 2007 onwards. So far, the Housing Authority has completed four phases and sold a total of more than 11,000 flats.

     "Having regard to the sales result of Phase 4 and against the backdrop of a worldwide economic downturn, we consider it prudent to take a more conservative approach in launching the sale of the remaining surplus HOS flats," the Chairman of the SHC, Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung said.

     Phase 4 of the surplus HOS flats sales programme was launched in September 2008. Among the 3,221 flats on sale, 1,919 flats or about 60% were sold, whereas the sales rate in the previous phases was close to 100%.

     There was a substantial drop in applications (by 50% or so) and in the number of flats purchased (by 70% or so) by Green Form applicants in Phase 4 when compared to previous phases.

     "This suggested that applicants living in public housing units and hence having less imminent housing needs were even more cautious about flat purchase, as compared to White Form applicants," Professor Cheung said.

     "As the economic outlook is uncertain and the unemployment rate is expected to be on the rise, people are very cautious in making decisions on home purchase. We consider it necessary to adjust the timetable and the number of flats to be offered for sale in future phases. In so doing, more eligible people who have the intention to buy HOS flats would be allowed to make their decisions at the appropriate time," he said.

     "In adjusting the timetable and sales programme for Phase 5, the Housing Authority has balanced the considerations of continuing the sale of surplus HOS flats, safeguarding the interests of the Housing Authority, minimising impact on the private residential property market and giving sufficient advance notice to interested purchasers for forward planning," he said.

     The procedures for Phase 5 will be further streamlined to make the sales process more compact. The pricing proposal for Phase 5 is planned for submission to the SHC for consideration in October 2009. Upon approval by the SHC, the sales process will begin two weeks thereafter, instead of the usual four weeks, by inviting applications. The flat selection process will also begin two weeks earlier than usual, which means that the first batch of eligible applicants would be invited for flat selection in December.

     A total of 1,393 flats will be offered for sale in Phase 5. Among them, 370 flats are in one unsold block in Yau Chui Court, Kwun Tong, and the others are scattered flats of various sizes in seven HOS courts to cater for the needs of different families. (Please see the table below for details).

     The remaining 4,000 plus HOS flats are tentatively planned for sale in two phases from 2010 onwards after Phase 5. The Housing Authority will formulate detailed proposals on the sales programme having regard to the sales result of Phase 5 and the prevailing market conditions.

Distribution of surplus HOS flats under Phase 5

District        Project              Number of Flats
Kwun Tong       Yau Chui Court       370
Wong Tai Sin    Grand View Garden    38
                Ying Fuk Court       48
Tseung Kwan O   Kwong Ming Court     100
                Po Ming Court        42
Sha Tin         Kam Tai Court        404
Tin Shui Wai    Tin Fu Court         378
North           King Shing Court     13
Total: 1,393

Ends/Friday, March 27, 2009
Issued at HKT 14:46


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