No room to swing a cat: What life might look like in one of Hong Kong's new 177sqft flats

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 July, 2014, 11:10am
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 July, 2014, 6:42pm

As the famous saying goes to describe a small, cramped space, ‘there’s not enough room to swing a cat’.

Well, in the case of a new batch of flats soon to come on the market in Hong Kong, that may well be the case – unless the cat in question has a very short tail.

The properties, due to go on sale in the coming weeks at the Mont Vert development in Tai Po, each measure just 177 square feet.

To put that in context, if the floorplan were square, each wall would measure about 13ft 3ins.

Within that space there would need to be a bed, cooking facilities, a bathroom, toilet and storage space.

To illustrate the actual size of these flats, the SCMP’s graphics team used a developer’s floorplan to mock up a to-scale 3D version of what a sparsely furnished place might look like.

And, shockingly, each flat is only slightly more than double the size of a standard jail cell at Hong Kong’s Stanley Prison.

The pricelist for the first batch of 260 flats at the Mont Vert development was released at the end of last week, but the 177sqft properties were not included.

The smallest was a 194sqft studio flat up for grabs for HK$1.94 million – equivalent to HK$10,031 per square foot.

After discounts, which add up to as much as 15 per cent, it may be possible to bag a studio flat for HK$1.65 million.

Justin Chiu Kwok-hung, an executive director at Cheung Kong, said he was told by property agents that prices at the project were about 30 per cent below transaction prices for other new flats in the area.

"The stunning low price is because of low land cost," he said. "The site was converted from farmland for residential use. We also secured lower construction cost as the contract was awarded several years ago."