3,300 surplus HOS flats to go up for sale in September

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 July, 2008, 12:00am

Flats in the fourth batch of surplus stock from the Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) will be priced from HK$450,000 to HK$2.91 million when they go on sale in September, a source said.

The Housing Authority plans to sell about 3,300 flats in September, leaving only 4,100 units unsold under a government plan to sell off the 16,000 leftover HOS flats. The source said that all surplus flats would be sold by next year.

Among the flats in the fourth batch will be 640 in Tung Tao Court, Shau Kei Wan, at an average price of HK$2,870 a square foot; 344 flats in King Hin Court, Wong Tai Sin, at HK$2,290; and 1,284 in Kam Fung Court, Ma On Shan, at HK$1,950.

Some of the Wong Tai Sin flats were temporary hostels for Hospital Authority staff during the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome in 2003, but the source said they had been restored and disinfected.

The source said 953 resale units, including 877 flats in Tin Fu Court, Tin Shui Wai, would also be up for sale.

The cheapest flat is a single- person unit of just over 200 sq ft in Kwun Hei Court, Kowloon City, going for about HK$450,000.

The source said the government had proposed the price range after taking property transactions in the second quarter of this year into account. She added that rising market prices had been reflected in the proposed prices, with increases averaging a few percentage points.

Flats in Tung Tao Court, near the MTR's Sai Wan Ho and Shau Kei Wan stations, have been priced 5 per cent higher than in a similar selling exercise earlier this year.

The Shau Kei Wan estate also has the most expensive unit of all. The top-priced unit, which has a sea view, has a proposed selling price of HK$2.91 million.

The fourth batch of flats, which constitute 21 per cent of the 16,000 flats left over when the HOS was mothballed in 2002, will be sold amid mounting calls for the scheme to be revived because rising property prices are squeezing lower-income buyers out of the market.

But the government has said it will not be resumed, arguing that private flats remain affordable.

Some property agents said the price of the latest batch looked cheap.

Kenny Yu Chi-man, Centaline's district manager for Ma On Shan, said the proposed low prices could affect the resale market for HOS flats. But he added that there would not be much impact on the rest of the market.

Mike Wong Wai-chun, a branch manager at a Centaline branch in Shau Kei Wan, said he expected the latest batch of flats in Tung Tao Court would receive positive feedback from eligible buyers because of the sea views.

The proposal will be discussed by a Housing Authority committee next Friday.