REDA's moaning betrays its arrogance

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 04 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 04 February, 2012, 12:00am


When you are a billionaire, it is understandable you may have your head stuck in the clouds. That may explain the absurd objections presented by REDA - a lobby group whose key members consist of developers controlled by our ageing tycoons - as part of its submission to the government's consultation on reforming home sales practices.

The reform may have come late but most of its recommendations, if adopted, will enhance transparency and protect the little guy - buyers like you and me. Because these reforms may have bite, they have attracted the ire of the Real Estate Developers Association, which obviously thinks it has a God-given right - or at least a right guaranteed under the Basic Law - to exploit buyers with impunity. How else do you explain REDA's latest submission to Legco that says the government provided no cogent reason for the legislation 'to survive a constitutional challenge' apart from the objective to protect buyers?

It says the proposed requirement to release a price list of new flats three days before a sale is 'an unlawful infringement of the owner's rights' to use or dispose of their property. It says the price list should not include homes larger than 1,722 sq ft. Why 1,722?

It says a ban on using gross floor area (GFA) as the basis for describing flat size and for listing prices infringe on its members' freedom of expression. Everyone knows the GFA is confusing and inflates flat sizes. The new proposal is to adopt 'saleable area', defined as the internal flat area plus balconies but minus bay windows.

REDA now threatens to take the government to court by saying the reform proposals would not survive a constitutional challenge. People who enjoy too much power and privilege rarely know when to stop.

In this politically explosive time, the government may be all that is standing between our tycoons and the pitchforks.