Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
Residential Properties (First-hand Sales) Ordinance has demonstrated its effectiveness

     The Residential Properties (First-hand Sales) Ordinance (the Ordinance) has been implemented smoothly over the past three years since it came into full implementation on April 29, 2013. The Ordinance has been effective in enhancing the transparency and fairness of the sales of first-hand residential properties and strengthening consumer protection.

     The Director, Sales of First-hand Residential Properties Authority (SRPA), Mr Eugene Fung, today (April 29) said that the SRPA has made strenuous efforts to ensure that vendors comply with the requirements of the Ordinance. Also, the SRPA has been encouraging vendors to go the extra mile whenever possible.

     "To achieve the goal of continued enhancement of the transparency and fairness of the sales of first-hand residential properties, we cannot solely rely on the deterrent effect of the Ordinance. The mindset and the initiative of the trade are of the same importance," Mr Fung said.

     Last year, the SRPA issued a practice note to advise vendors to display a "consumption table" in a conspicuous place in the sales office of a development/phase and to update the "consumption table" at the appropriate time to reflect the sales situation. The objective is to enable prospective purchasers at the sales office to easily know the residential properties which are still available for them to select at that particular point in time. Most of the vendors of first-hand residential properties have followed the SRPA's advice on this.

     Mr Fung also gave a brief account of the SRPA's three pillars of work, namely compliance checks and inspections, investigation and public education.

     As at March 31, 2016, the SRPA had examined about 850 sales brochures, about 2,600 prices lists, about 2,200 documents containing sales arrangements, and about 8,900 printed advertisements. Also, the SRPA conducted about 3,300 inspections on registers of transactions and conducted regular inspections on vendors' designated websites. The SRPA conducted about 2,600 inspections on the sales offices and show flats of first-hand residential properties, including those jointly conducted with the Estate Agents Authority.

     On investigations, the SRPA spared no effort in implementing the Ordinance and carrying out investigations on persons suspected of having contravened the Ordinance. The SRPA carried out investigations on all suspected contraventions of the Ordinance. It has been referring the investigation outcome on suspected contraventions to the Prosecutions Division of the Department of Justice (DoJ). The DoJ is considering the matter and will inform the SRPA of its decision. So far, prosecution action has been taken against a vendor of a development involving 19 counts of offence.

     The SRPA wishes to emphasise that, when a vendor is suspected to have contravened the Ordinance, the remedial measures taken by the vendor afterwards will not change the fact that the vendor is suspected of having contravened the Ordinance in the previous action of sale. The SRPA will still follow up those cases of suspected contravention of the Ordinance.

     On public education, the SRPA has from time to time issued advice to prospective purchasers. Also, it has issued reminders to the public on matters relating to the sale of first-hand residential developments/phases on a needs basis. There were on average about 15,000 visits per month and 27,000 visits per month to the SRPA website and the Sales of First-hand Residential Properties Electronic Platform respectively.

     Mr Fung reminded prospective purchasers to spare time to go through the sales documents carefully before purchasing first-hand residential properties. The sales brochure helps prospective purchasers to know whether the residential properties they plan to purchase and the development concerned meet their requirements. Information on the prices, the discounts offered under different payment terms and the financial benefits as set out in the price lists help prospective purchasers to know the financial commitment arising from the purchase.

     Looking ahead, given that more and more first-hand residential properties will be offered for sale, the SRPA will continue to step up its efforts to conduct compliance checks and inspections, handle complaints, conduct investigations, collect evidences, and educate 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/Friday, April 29, 2016
Issued at HKT 16:25


Print this page