Simple, cheaper flats may win over buyers

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 January, 2012, 12:00am


The Housing Society's new private residential project Heya Green - due to go on sale this year - is expected to be priced at a level that will prove attractive to buyers and agents.

The statutory body, which is responsible for the provision of public and non-subsidised housing, announced last week that the two-building project at 18 Po On Road in Sham Shui Po would offer 327 simple flats without luxury facilities.

The flats were expected to cost from HK$3.42 million to HK$5.46 million, based on the present market price of HK$6,000 to HK$7,000 per square foot, the society said.

About 80 per cent will be two-bedroom flats of 570 square feet, while the rest are three-bedroom flats of 780 square feet.

The society plans to give priority to Hongkongers wishing to buy flats.

Cindy Kwong, who lives with her husband in a 527 sq ft flat in Tseung Kwan O, said she thought the price of Heya Garden flats would be competitive because even secondary units at private housing estates in neighbouring West Kowloon such as Banyan Garden were selling at around HK$6,340 per square foot.

'I think HK$6,000 to HK$7,000 per square foot in an urban area like Sham Shui Po is attractive, given that new flats at the less convenient Tseung Kwan O station are selling from HK$6,600 per square foot,' Kwong said.

Kwong said she did not share concerns that the building quality of Housing Society flats was not as high as that of private developers because she lived in a flat built by the society before and found it to be of better standard than some developer's flats.

Kwong, who wants to move away from Tseung Kwan O to a larger three-bedroom flat in central Kowloon, said her family would consider buying a unit at Heya Green during the April-June presale period.

Andy Ho Ming-pui, Midland Realty's director for Kowloon, said a price per square foot of HK$6,000 to HK$7,000 was reasonable and should attract first-time homebuyers.

'Buyers will be given another option to choose simpler and cheaper flats compared with other private developments,' he said, and noted Chinachem has been pre-selling its Residence 228 project in the same district at over HK$8,000 per square foot.

The convenience of Heya Green's location, a few minutes' walk from Cheung Sha Wan MTR station, could also lure buyers, Credit Suisse research analyst Joyce Kwock said.

Many small new residential developments in the district priced over HK$7,000 per square foot had sold quickly, Kwock added, and this project could attract some 'old wealthies' who had lived in the area for a long time.

But Kwock did not find Heya Green too cheap compared to other private homes. She said that given the flats had no luxury facilities they should be around 20 per cent cheaper than private developers' offerings.

Centaline Property Agency's Louis Chan Wing-kit questioned whether the society should sell its flats in the existing market, given that Sun Hung Kai had struggled to sell its latest project at Hung Hom for over HK$8,000 per square foot.

'If the government continues its policy control on the property market, it will be difficult for the society to sell its flats,' Chan said.