11,000 apply for flats

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 October, 2008, 12:00am

Sales of the fourth batch of surplus Home Ownership Scheme flats received a lukewarm market response, with applications dropping by more than half compared with the previous batch.

The Housing Authority said yesterday it had received about 11,000 applications for the phase four sale of surplus HOS flats when applications closed on September 24. That compared with about 25,000 applications received during the third batch.

Applicants for flats in this latest phase are vying for 3,221 flats.

Ricacorp Properties head of research Chow Moon-kit said the drop in applications was a clear reflection of a market slowdown. 'The market is depressed. Everyone wants to buy things cheaper,' he said.

Pricing of the flats, ranging from HK$450,000 to HK$2.91 million, was based on second-quarter market conditions.

Officials had said they were confident about the flats' reception although they were priced a few percentage points higher than in the previous selling exercise.

But Mr Chow said the pricing was too aggressive.

Following this sale, there will be only about 4,100 units left unsold of the 16,000 leftover HOS flats the government wanted to sell.

All surplus flats are to be sold by next year.