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SRPA's response to media enquiries

     With regard to media enquiries that developers consider the requirements of the Residential Properties (First-hand Sales) Ordinance (the Ordinance) stringent, there are insufficient guidelines on the Ordinance, the trade does not have a good understanding of the Ordinance, and that there should be closer communication with the Sales of First-hand Residential Properties Authority (SRPA), the SRPA today (June 2) made the following response:

     The primary objective of the Ordinance is to strengthen the protection to the purchasers of first-hand residential properties through enhancing the transparency of the information and fairness of transactions relating to the sales of first-hand residential properties. The requirements imposed on the vendors under the Ordinance, including the requirements on sales brochure, are necessary and reasonable. The requirements are premised on the Lands Department Consent Scheme in the past, and have effectively addressed the concern of the public about the undesirable aspects in the sales brochures in the past.

     The Ordinance requires that the information in a sales brochure has to be accurate as at the date of print of the sales brochure or at the point when the sales brochure is being examined and revised. The Ordinance provides the opportunity for vendors to examine and revise a sales brochure at least once every three months. If the vendor has spotted that any information in the preceding version of the sales brochure is outdated or no longer applicable, he can make the necessary revision in the coming version. Take the information on saleable area of residential properties in a sales brochure as an example, if the saleable area of a residential property has changed as a result of changes to the approved building plans, the vendor can reflect the changes to the saleable area of that residential property in the examined and revised sales brochure.

     The SRPA has all along taken a pragmatic, reasonable and open attitude in working closely with the trade in helping the trade understand the Ordinance and the implementation details. Efforts made by the SRPA include providing the trade with Guidelines, practice notes and 90 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers. Following the full implementation of the Ordinance on April 29, 2013, the SRPA has on various occasions issued gentle reminders to the trade to alert them of areas they may wish to pay extra attention to and possible area for improvements drawing on the SRPA's observations from examining those sales documents made available by vendors.

     The SRPA is pleased and appreciates that vendors are making efforts to adapt to and comply with the Ordinance. As the SRPA has made public on various occasions, those sales brochures and sales documents which vendors have made available have largely complied with the requirements of the Ordinance. This speaks strongly that vendors generally have built up a good understanding on the requirements of the Ordinance. While there are areas for improvements, they are mainly technical errors. Also, the SRPA considers it encouraging that vendors have been acting responsibly and have taken swift actions in revising the sales documents upon the advice of the SRPA.

     The SRPA has spared no effort in continuing to liaise with the trade following the full implementation of the Ordinance. The SRPA will meet the Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong (REDA) later this month to exchange views and hear REDA's concern. Also, the SRPA will organise another round of workshops for the trade this month.

     While the SRPA will do its utmost to help the trade understand and get used to the Ordinance, it is the business decision of individual vendors on when to offer their residential properties for sale after taking into account all possible factors.

Ends/Sunday, June 2, 2013
Issued at HKT 17:53


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