Government has no plans to regulate residential property sales: Suen

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 June, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 June, 2005, 12:00am

Updated at 6.19pm:
The government has no plans introduce legislation to regulate sales of residential flats, Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Michael Suen Ming-yeun said on Wednesday.

His comments were prompted by an incident, revealed last month, when a buyer obtained a penthouse for a record price and also bought three other flats in the same development at a small discount.

Mr Suen told the Legislative Council the government was relying on developers to self- regulate and comply with Real Estate Development Association guidelines.

'The government believes that so long as developers genuinely comply with the guidelines issued by REDA, the interests of prospective purchasers would be reasonably protected, and there is no need at the moment to impose more mandatory conditions,' he said.

At the urging of the government to tighten standards, REDA issued guidelines in April asking developers to make units on offer and price lists available to buyers.

The association also asked developers to release accurate sales figures.

'Although REDA's self-regulatory regime has no legal effect... developers are mindful of upholding their company's reputation. Any reports on breaches of the guidelines on internal sales will generate negative impact on the reputation of developers and could also affect the sales performance of their projects,' Mr Sun explained.

He said the government had asked the REDA to conduct a comprehensive review of internal sales arrangements as well as the transparency and accuracy of information released by developers last week. The association is expected to submit concrete proposals within three to four weeks.

Mr Sun also warned the public to make careful buying decisions. 'Members of the public should carefully consider their affordability and needs, and look up the actual prices of comparable transactions in the market.'

They could check the comparable transactions registered with the Land Registry or seek advice from professionals such as surveyors or solicitors, he added.