Efficiency ratios going to the extremes
The lack of legislation against advertising the gross floor area of new flats means the market is continuing to see extreme examples of efficiency ratios.
Just compare two examples of flats put on the market recently by the Housing Society and the Urban Renewal Authority.
The Housing Society has launched the sale of 327 flats at Heya Green, Cheung Sha Wan, with a high efficiency rating of 80 per cent.
Such a high ratio has rarely been seen in new private residential projects in recent years.
The society, a statutory body and the developer of the project, has not included the clubhouse in the gross floor area of the flats now on sale.
Also taken out of the calculation were other items usually included in the gross floor area by private developers, including lift shafts, electrical meter rooms and the main lobbies.
Daniel Mak Yiu-man, assistant general manager of the society's marketing division, said: 'This is aimed at letting buyers have a better idea how much they are paying for their actual living space.
'It's about the calculation as well as the layout design.'
The project is now on sale - only to those with a Hong Kong identity card.
But another statutory body, the Urban Renewal Authority, is recently reported by the media to have sold tiny studio flats in a Hung Hom project.
Cable TV reported that the efficiency ratio for a 361 sq ft flat at Baker Residences, which the authority co-developed with Sino Land, is just 68 per cent. If all the walls, the utility platform and the balcony are taken out of the calculation, an on-site measurement finds the internal usable space is only 128 square feet, or just 35 per cent of the gross floor area.
That is less than the average living space in public rental housing, which is 138 square feet. The flat was sold for HK$2.7 million.
Analysts say the project, one of the authority's smallest developments, was designed to split each floor into three small flats instead of two larger ones, in order to lower the purchase price and attract buyers.
The size of the largest flats at the Housing Society development Heya Green, in Cheung Sha Wan (left), with a high efficiency ratio of 80 per cent