Surveyors warn investors on re-development trend
The Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors (HKIS) has urged investors to be cautious as large restaurants and cinemas make way for smaller shop units in the latest development trend to hit the ever space-conscious territory.
These units were often sold before the alterations were started and purchasers might not be able to obtain full details of their prospective premises from sales brochures, the Institute said.
A HKIS spokesman said some of the brochures may be misleading due to the lack of relevant dimensions and headroom details.
The HKIS has suggested developers should adopt the principles which are suggested in the Saleable Area booklet - jointly prepared by the HKIS, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Consumer Council.
All purchasers should also check the calculation of saleable area and method of measurement, the spokesman said.
They should check for any unauthorised alteration work before they sign the sales and purchase agreement.
The HKIS spokesman said if there were any doubts, investors should appoint a qualified building surveyor to carry out a thorough investigation.
He said all professionals involved in alterations and additions to existing buildings should ensure sufficient details were provided to developers and purchasers for reference.
HKIS has also suggested the Government and the Law Society consider adopting a single, legally enforceable definition of ''saleable area'' in all sales and purchase agreements.
It also recommends that banks should ask for a more comprehensive property valuation report - one which should include the actual size of the shop units and other physical conditions - before approving any mortgage loans.