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HA approves average selling prices and arrangements for Sale of HOS Flats 2018 and measures to refine implementation of Well-off Tenants Policies
The following is issued on behalf of the Hong Kong Housing Authority:
     The Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) Subsidised Housing Committee (SHC) today (February 14) approved the income and asset limits for White Form (WF) applicants, as well as the average selling prices and sales arrangements for the Sale of Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) Flats 2018.
     Applications may be submitted from the end of March to mid-April and balloting will be held in June. Successful applicants will be invited to select flats from August.
     For the Sale of HOS Flats 2018, the income limit for family applicants will be $57,000 per month and the asset limit will be $1.96 million. The income and asset limits for one-person applicants will be set at half of the limits for family applicants, at $28,500 and $980,000 respectively (see Table 1).
     "Following the established methodology, the income and asset limits are set after taking into account the latest property market and economic conditions," a spokesman for the HA said.
     "As endorsed by the SHC in November 2017, the income and asset limits will also apply to applicants of White Form Secondary Market Scheme (WSM), which will be launched concurrently with the Sale of HOS Flats 2018 in March," the spokesman added.
     A total of 4 431 flats from three new HOS developments will be put up for sale, comprising 2 522 flats in Hoi Lok Court in Cheung Sha Wan, with a saleable area of 35.6 square metres (sq m) to 58.6 sq m; 683 flats in Kai Long Court in Kai Tak with a saleable area of 26.6 sq m to 43.8 sq m, and 1 226 flats in Yu Tai Court in Tung Chung with a saleable area of 25.8 sq m to 53.1 sq m.
     The SHC decided that the average selling prices for the HOS flats are to be set at 30 per cent discount from the assessed market values. The selling prices, after applying the discount, will average $3.6 million and range from $1.59 million to $6.30 million (see Table 2) with over 95 per cent below $5 million.
     "The assessed market values have been derived through appropriate adjustments to the recent open market transaction prices of both first-hand and second-hand private and HOS flats in the vicinity to reflect the differences between these flats and HOS flats in terms of building age, location, design and facilities, etc, and in particular the no-frills condition of HOS flats," the spokesman said.
     "As a result, the average selling prices (at 70 per cent of assessed market values) of the HOS flats are generally lower than those of private housing flats that are otherwise comparable, especially when compared with the selling prices of first-hand flats of private developments in the vicinity," he added.
     The SHC also decided to maintain the quota between Green Form (GF) and WF applicants at 50:50 and allow flexibility to re-allocate any remaining quota from the GF queue to the WF queue, and vice versa.
     It was also decided that the established order of priority for flat selection will be followed, with absolute priority offered to applicants living in Mei Po House and Mei Tung House of Mei Tung Estate, and residents of Blocks 9, 10, 11 and 13 of Pak Tin Estate who are affected by HA's announced clearance programmes. As at the end of August 2017, the number of affected households was about 2,900. Within other ordinary GF and WF groups, family applicants have priority over one-person applicants (see Table 3).
     "A quota of 1 300 flats will be set aside for families applying under the Priority Scheme for Families with Elderly Members (Priority Elderly Scheme) who have priority over other family applicants, with GF and WF applicants each taking up 50 per cent. This quota seeks to enable other family applicants to have more chance to purchase larger flats, as 1 624 flats are of a larger size of 41 sq m or above," the spokesman said, adding that if families under the Priority Elderly Scheme fail to obtain a flat under the quota, they will still have the opportunity to purchase under other family categories.
     The SHC also agreed to reserve 400 flats for one-person applicants, with GF and WF applicants each taking up 50 per cent, taking into account the persistently strong demand from one-person applicants in previous HOS sale exercises.
     "With the lowest priority in flat selection, one-person applicants may have no chance to buy a flat if we do not set aside certain number of flats for them," the spokesman said.
     Before the sale launch, hard copies of the sales booklets, application forms and application guides will be made available for public collection at the HA Customer Service Centre (HACSC) at Lok Fu. These documents can also be obtained during office hours in the estate offices and District Tenancy Management Offices of the HA, rental estate offices of the Hong Kong Housing Society, Home Affairs Enquiry Centres of the Home Affairs Department and the Sham Shui Po Housing Information Centre. 
     In addition, soft copies of the sales booklets will be uploaded to the designated websites of the HA/Housing Department (HD), while soft copies of the application forms and the application guides will be available for viewing and downloading from the website. The latest drafts of Deeds of Mutual Covenant of the three HOS developments and aerial photographs will be displayed at the HACSC and made available for viewing at the designated HA/HD websites. Virtual show flat walkthrough videos and "doll houses" of typical flats, building models, and other information including approved building plans, Outline Zoning Plans, land grants, etc, of the three developments will be displayed at the HACSC for inspection by the public.
     Before the commencement of flat selection, hard copies of the sales brochures covering full details of the developments and the price lists will be made available for public collection at the HACSC. A few copies of these documents will be placed at the HA's estate offices for viewing by public rental housing tenants. In addition, soft copies of these documents will be uploaded to the designated HA/HD websites.
     At today's meeting, Members also noted the major implementation details of the WSM. With an annual quota of 2,500, the WSM will be launched concurrently with the Sale of HOS Flats 2018, adopting the same set of eligibility criteria.
     "Applicants may choose between the HOS and the WSM or both. However, they need to make separate application for each scheme. The application period for the WSM will be the same as that for the Sale of HOS 2018 (i.e from the end of March to mid-April). Separate balloting will be conducted in June to determine the priority for flat selection under different categories of applications for the Sale of HOS Flats and the allocation of quota under the WSM," the spokesman said.
     Successful applicants of the WSM will be invited to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility to Purchase (CEP), which will be valid for one year, within two weeks from the issue date of the approval letters by the HA in September 2018 tentatively before they can purchase flats with premium not yet paid in the HOS Secondary Market.
     "Upon balloting of both the WSM and HOS in June 2018, applicants who have concurrently applied for both schemes will know whether they can obtain a quota flat under the WSM and their priority under the HOS by then. As such, they can choose either to purchase new HOS flats in August when flat selection commences or to apply for a CEP to buy flats in the HOS Secondary Market under WSM in September 2018 when the approval letters are issued," the spokesman said.
     Application fees for the Sale of HOS and WSM are $240 and $120 respectively.
     At today's meeting, Members also noted the implementation of the revised Well-off Tenants Policies and endorsed measures to refine the implementation arrangements of the Well-off Tenants Policies:

(a) at present, households whose members are all (i) aged 60 or above; or (ii) receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance; or (iii) receiving Social Welfare Department's Disability Allowance are exempted from the Policies. The SHC endorsed extending the exemption to households with all members in different combinations of (i), (ii) and (iii) above; and 

(b) to allow households to deduct lump-sum non-statutory compensations and special financial assistance received due to death of family members in the tenancy in calculating total asset value. 

     The SHC endorsed amendments to the Well-off Tenants Policies and the implementation details at its meetings on December 9, 2016 and February 14, 2017 respectively.

     "We will continue to closely monitor the implementation of the revised Well-off Tenants Policies to ensure rational allocation of public rental housing resources," the spokesman said.
Ends/Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Issued at HKT 19:10
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