Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
SRPA launches new measures to enhance transparency of sale of first-hand residential properties

     The Director, Sales of First-hand Residential Properties Authority (SRPA), Mr Eugene Fung, today (April 29) announced new measures to assist prospective purchasers by enhancing the transparency of sale of first-hand residential properties.

     Noting that prospective purchasers may have difficulty in knowing which of the first-hand residential properties are available for selection when they are in a development/phase sales office, the SRPA today issued a practice note to require vendors from June 1, 2015 onwards to display in a development/phase sales office on each date of sale a "consumption table". This table should follow the format of the template proposed by the SRPA and show which residential properties are offered for sale on that date. The table should also be updated during the day to show which residential properties have already been sold earlier that day, and which residential properties are still available for selection at that juncture.

     To address the issue of the inflated number of registrations of intent in the sales of first-hand residential properties, the SRPA will work closely with the Estate Agents Authority (EAA). When the EAA has finalised the arrangements for estate agents to declare the number of registrations of intent which have been submitted, the SRPA will issue a practice note to vendors requiring them to make public the number of registrations of intent of which estate agents are the registrants, if and when the vendors make public the number of registrations of intent or cashier orders they have received in respect of a development/phase.

     "These new measures will further enhance the transparency of sale of first-hand residential properties, and strengthen the protection for prospective purchasers of first-hand residential properties," Mr Fung said.

     Mr Fung also made various suggestions in respect of sales arrangements to vendors, including:

* It is desirable that vendors arrange the balloting session and the flat selection session on two separate days, so that registrants do not have to rush to the sales office for flat selection shortly after learning about the balloting result, and will have at least one night to think over the flat selection matter;

* There are vendors who require that registrants must attend the balloting session in person, otherwise the registrants' eligibility for balloting will be cancelled. The SRPA considers such an arrangement unreasonable and unnecessary. The SRPA advises vendors not to deploy unreasonable sales arrangements; and

* Given that sales arrangements premised on a "first-come, first-served" basis may easily give rise to disputes among persons queuing on the spot, the SRPA does not encourage vendors to continue using such methods.

     Summarising the implementation of the Residential Properties (First-hand Sales) Ordinance in the past two years, Mr Fung said that the Ordinance has made considerable achievements in bringing a favourable change to the sales culture of first-hand residential properties. For example:

* vendors can only present the area and price per square foot and per square metre of a first-hand residential property in terms of its saleable area. This has overcome the drawback in respect of presenting the area of a first-hand residential property in terms of Gross Floor Area;

* when a vendor wishes to make available show flat(s) for a first-hand residential property in an uncompleted development/phase, it must make available an unmodified show flat of that residential property as a prerequisite for making available any modified show flat(s) of that residential property. In the past, vendors' emphasis was placed on making available modified show flats; and

* as the Ordinance requires vendors to make available hard and electronic copies of all kinds of sales documents not later than a prescribed date before the date of sale, prospective purchasers now have convenient access to all kinds of sales documents.

     "Most of the vendors have made good efforts to comply with the requirements of the Ordinance. There were occasions when the sales arrangements adopted by individual vendors in respect of various first-hand residential properties had caused public concern. The SRPA reacted promptly and firmly on those occasions. This has prompted the vendors concerned to take effective improvement and/or remedial measures under most of the circumstances and caused prospective purchasers to be more alert to the sales arrangements of the developments concerned," he said.

     Mr Fung also briefly mentioned the three pillars of work of the SRPA, namely compliance checks and inspections, investigation work, and public education.

     As at March 31, 2015, the SRPA had conducted about 2 000 inspections on sales offices and show flats including those jointly conducted with the EAA, examined about 760 sales brochures, about 1 900 price lists, about 1 100 documents containing sales arrangements, and about 6 200 printed advertisements. Also, the SRPA conducted about 2 600 inspections of registers of transactions. The SRPA also conducted regular inspections of vendors' designated websites.

     On investigations and prosecutions, the SRPA has been referring investigation reports on suspected contraventions to the Prosecutions Division of Department of Justice (DOJ) for consideration. The suspected contraventions include misrepresentation and/or the dissemination of false or misleading information. The DOJ is now considering the matter and will revert to the SPRA once a final decision is made.

     On helping vendors and related parties to understand the requirements of the Ordinance, the SRPA has consolidated and further categorised the Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQs), and uploaded 121 consolidated FAQs onto the SRPA's website today. In March this year, the SRPA collaborated with the EAA in organising two seminars to enhance estate agent practitioners' understanding of the requirements of the Ordinance.

     The SRPA spares no effort in educating the public. The SRPA's website, the Sales of First-hand Residential Properties Electronic Platform (SRPE) and the SRPA Resource Centre provide useful information to prospective purchasers and the public. The SRPA continues to enhance the functions of the SRPE to assist members of the public in searching for information on a development/phase more efficiently. As at March 31, 2015, there were on average around 440 visitors to the SRPA website and around 900 visitors to the SRPE daily.

     Looking ahead, the SRPA will step up its efforts in conducting compliance checks and inspections, handling complaints, carrying out investigations on suspected cases of contravention of the Ordinance, and educating the trade and the public, with a view to further enhancing the transparency and fairness of the sales of first-hand residential properties, strengthening consumer protection, and providing a level playing field for vendors of first-hand residential properties.

Ends/Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Issued at HKT 16:30


Print this page