HA approves arrangements for Sale of HOS Flats 2023 and tightening of eligibility criteria for Green Form applicants for subsidised sale flats
The Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) Subsidised Housing Committee (SHC) today (April 26) approved the average selling prices and sales arrangements for the Sale of Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) Flats 2023 (HOS 2023). It also endorsed the revised eligibility criteria that public rental housing (PRH) tenants or Rental Estate tenants of the Hong Kong Housing Society (HS) applying to purchase subsidised sale flats (SSFs) as Green Form (GF) applicants would be subject to the same restrictions on ownership of domestic property in Hong Kong applicable to White Form (WF) applicants. Furthermore, the HA's Fixed-Term licensees will no longer be eligible for purchasing SSFs as GF applicants.
The SHC also approved the income and asset limits for WF applicants for HOS 2023, as well as the sales arrangements for rescinded Green Form Subsidised Home Ownership Scheme (GSH) flats of Ching Fu Court and Dip Tsui Court in the Express Flat Allocation Scheme (EFAS) 2023.
The Chairman of the HA and Secretary for Housing, Ms Winnie Ho, thanked SHC members for taking swift actions to tighten the eligibility criteria for GF applicants purchasing SSFs to ensure the rational use of public housing resources.
It is expected that applications for HOS 2023 will be invited in mid-2023, with balloting in the fourth quarter of the year. Flat selection is expected to start from the first quarter of 2024. The application fee for HOS 2023 will be $270.
Flats for sale
A total of 9 154 flats from six new HOS developments will be offered for sale under HOS 2023, namely Siu Tsui Court in Tuen Mun; On Ying Court, On Wah Court and On Lai Court in Kwun Tong; Kai Yuet Court in Kai Tak; and Long Tin Court in Yuen Long. (Details in Annex 1)
As at March 31, 2023, there were 39 rescinded flats from Yu Nga Court and Yu Tak Court (sold under HOS 2022) as well as Kam Chun Court and Kai Cheung Court (sold under HOS 2020). These rescinded flats, together with any additional rescinded flats from these four developments as identified up to about two months before commencement of flat selection, will be included for resale under HOS 2023.
"In view of the high demand for SSFs and the recent calls for reviewing the eligibility for purchasing SSFs to better ensure the rational allocation of scarce public housing resources, the SHC endorsed tightening the eligibility criteria for GF applicants for purchase of SSFs. PRH tenants and Rental Estate tenants of HS who apply to purchase SSFs as GF applicants should not have owned domestic properties in Hong Kong during the period from 24 months preceding the closing date for submitting the application up to the time of purchase," a spokesman for the HA said. (See details of the restrictions in Annex 2)
In addition, Fixed-Term licensees of the HA will no longer be eligible for purchasing SSFs as GF applicants.
"These Fixed-Term licensees are largely former PRH households who have been issued with Notice-to-Quit by the HA under the Well-off Tenants Policies (WTP). Under the WTP policy, they may apply for temporary stay in PRH for a maximum period of 12 months if they are in need of an interim accommodation. Since these Fixed-Term licensees are no longer sitting PRH tenants and have been required to vacate their PRH units, we consider it reasonable that they should no longer be eligible for purchasing SSFs as Green Form applicants," the spokesman said. If the relevant Fixed-Term licensees fulfil the relevant eligibility, they can still apply to purchase SSFs as White Form applicants.
The above revised eligibility criteria will be implemented with effect from the application commencement date of HOS 2023 onwards, tentatively scheduled for mid-2023. The revised criteria would apply to (a) flats put up for sale from HOS 2023 onwards (including HOS and GSH flats, and recovered Tenants Purchase Scheme (TPS) flats); and (b) flats with premium unpaid in the Secondary Market and TPS flats purchased by tenants residing therein.
According to the pricing policy of SSFs introduced in 2018, the discount applied to the assessed market values of the HOS flats for sale is determined based on the affordability benchmark whereby at least 75 per cent of the flats for sale can allow non-owner occupier households earning the median monthly household income to spend no more than 40 per cent of their monthly income on mortgage payment. The discount rate is applicable to both new HOS flats and rescinded HOS flats put up for sale/resale in the same sale exercise.
"Following the above pricing formula, the SHC endorsed setting the average selling prices of the 9 154 new flats for sale and any rescinded HOS flats for resale under HOS 2023 at a 38 per cent discount from the assessed market values, i.e. for sale at 62 per cent of assessed market values. The selling prices of the flats of the six new developments range from $1.49 million to $4.94 million, averaging at about $2.85 million," the spokesman said, adding that the lower discount rate as compared to that in HOS 2022 is largely attributed to the drop in the prices of private residential properties in general and the increase in the median monthly income of non-owner occupier households. Hence a lower discount rate for HOS 2023 can already meet the affordability benchmark under the current pricing mechanism.
Priority for flat selection
The established order of priority for flat selection will be followed and the flat selection order of eligible applicants will be determined by the application category, quota allocation and ballot results.
Allocation ratio and quota
The ratio of the allocation quota between GF and WF applicants at 40:60 will be maintained for HOS 2023. Following established practice, the flexibility to reallocate any remaining quota from the GF queue to the WF queue and vice versa will also be maintained.
A quota of 2 700 flats will be set for family applicants 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 40 per cent and 60 per cent of the quota respectively. If families applying under the Priority Elderly Scheme fail to obtain a quota, they will still have the opportunity to purchase under the "Other Families Applicants" category.
The SHC also agreed to set a quota of 900 flats for one-person applicants, with GF and WF applicants each taking up 40 per cent and 60 per cent of the quota respectively, allowing them a reasonable chance to purchase the flats. In case the quota of 900 flats are not fully consumed after the list of one-person applicants is exhausted, the remaining flats will be allocated back to the "Other Families Applicants" category.
The new HOS flats put up for sale under HOS 2023 and rescinded HOS flats of Yu Nga Court and Yu Tak Court which were first put up for sale under HOS 2022 will be subject to the current alienation restrictions as approved by the SHC on January 6, 2022.
Rescinded HOS flats of Kam Chun Court and Kai Cheung Court, which were first put up for sale after 2019, will be subject to the alienation restrictions as approved by the SHC on November 16, 2018.
Doll houses of typical flats and project models on the new HOS developments, virtual videos of samples of HOS flats, exhibition panels and other information on the HOS developments will be provided at the HA Customer Service Centre in Lok Fu and on the HA/Housing Department's designated websites starting seven days before the commencement and up to the end of the application period. At the same time, sales booklets for new HOS flats (and sales leaflets for rescinded HOS flats) providing sales arrangements and basic information of the HOS developments will also be made available to the public.
Sales brochures for new and rescinded HOS flats covering greater details of the HOS developments and price lists will be available for public collection and viewing on the HA/HD's designated websites starting seven days before the commencement of the flat selection period.
"We will continue to provide online application (including e-application, e-payment and e-notification) in addition to the paper submission channels (paper form, either in person or by post) for HOS 2023. The carry-over application arrangement will also continue in HOS 2023 under which GF applicants of HOS 2023 may opt to participate in the next SSF exercise (i.e. GSH 2023) without the need to submit a separate application and pay the application fee for GSH 2023," the spokesman said.
Rescinded GSH flats of Ching Fu Court and Dip Tsui Court
As at March 31, 2023, there were 113 rescinded GSH flats from Ching Fu Court and Dip Tsui Court. To expedite the sale of these flats, the SHC decided that any rescinded flats from these two developments will be put up for sale to eligible PRH applicants in tandem with EFAS 2023.
Applications for EFAS 2023 will be invited in mid-2023 with flat selection to commence from the fourth quarter of 2023. Applicants who choose to apply to buy a flat in Ching Fu Court and Dip Tsui Court under EFAS 2023 are required to pay an application fee of $270.
As endorsed by the SHC in 2018, GSH flats will be sold at a discount of 10 per cent more than that determined for the preceding HOS sale exercise. Based on the discount rate for HOS 2023 at 38 per cent, the average selling prices of the rescinded GSH flats in Ching Fu Court and Dip Tsui Court for sale under EFAS 2023 will be set at 48 per cent discount from the assessed market values.
WF income and asset limits for HOS 2023 and White Form Secondary Market Scheme (WSM) 2023
At today's meeting, the SHC also reviewed the WF income and asset limits for HOS 2023 and WSM 2023 according to the established mechanism, and endorsed the WF income and asset limits at $62,000 per month and $1.47 million respectively. According to the established practice, the income and asset limits for WF one-person applicants will be set at half of the limits for family applicants, at $31,000 per month and $735,000 respectively.
The SHC pointed out that the HOS aims at assisting families who cannot afford to purchase private housing to achieve home ownership. According to the established methodology, the amount of total household expenditure required to purchase a reasonably sized flat in the private sector (i.e. the reference flat) constitutes the basis for assessing the WF income and asset limits. As the expenditure required to purchase properties in the private sector has decreased with the drop in private property prices, the proposed WF income and asset limits for this year have been reduced accordingly.
Ends/Wednesday, April 26, 2023
Issued at HKT 18:21
Issued at HKT 18:21