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  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 11:13am
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PROPERTY

Hong Kong homebuyers hail 'honest' sales law

But some customers still trying to get used to new way of presenting saleable areas of flats

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 April, 2013, 4:50am

Homebuyers have embraced a new law requiring developers to promote sales in a more transparent and honest way, although some said the provisions, which came into effect yesterday, were still unfamiliar.

At the same time, the director of the Sales of First-hand Residential Properties Authority, Eugene Fung Kin-yip, said it was a good sign that the new law had halted most sales of new homes, as many developers withdrew their sales brochures and were reworking them.

It is good that developers attach high importance to complying with the rules. I see they are launching the sales in an orderly manner

"It is good that developers attach high importance to complying with the rules. I see they are launching the sales in an orderly manner," Fung said.

One potential buyer said after seeing display flats of Hong Kong Ferry's Green Code project yesterday that developers "will no longer be able to exaggerate the features of their projects. They used to offer exaggerated information on the environment, the material used and flat size."

However, she said, she still had not got used to the information about saleable area, "which means now I don't know the efficiency rate of a flat".

One of the changes under the new rule is that developers are prohibited from mentioning the gross floor area of new flats in their sales brochures and price lists. Only the "saleable area", which refers to the internal flat space, balcony, utility platform and verandah, can be promoted.

Another flat viewer said he found developers offered clearer and more detailed information under the new rules.

"Apart from the sales brochure, we're also been given documents on the sales arrangement," he said. "Before, we needed to rely on the estate agent for all information."

Green Code is the first project to go on sale under the new law.

Fung said it was not empowered to order a developer to suspend sales should a breach be found, but the penalties available ranged from fines to a seven-year jail term. "If we've found any serious breach in the sales materials, we will disclose the case on our website to alert buyers," he said.

Donald Cheung Ping-keung, an executive director at Emperor International, said some stipulations under the new law, such as listing the model number of electrical appliances a flat came equipped with, were "not convenient" for developers.

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wwong888
it was the multiplier (e.g. 70%) you used to convert gross area into saleable area. gross area is only a hk/macau convention, invented by con artist developers here. this lady is so brainwashed, she still needs it even though the whole point is you are given the saleable area now.
mcheung
"she said, she still had not got used to the information about saleable area, "which means now I don't know the efficiency rate of a flat"."......What does she need to know the efficiency rate for? Hong Kong people just like to whine!
John Adams
The problem in the past was that "70%" gradually shrank to 60% or even 50% ..... as the developer hyped the added communal benefits ( e.g one tiny clubhouse for 800 flats) and cheated in other subtle ways.
REDA has a lot to answer for, as do the property tycoons who gave their silent assent to this previous form of blatant cheating
HK-Explorer
It though is misleading now due to past sales methods. Houses less than 15 years old have lower efficiency ratio but have higher ceilings and much bigger windows. Thus hard to decide even now when people go to buy houses.
KwunTongBypass
Why 'honest' in quotation marks? You mean our 'admired' tycoons' real estate companies are still not honest??
Giwaffe
Efficiency ratio would appear to be irrelevant unless it is to compare with other properties whose sales brochures have not yet been updated. But all this will change with time.
Point to note, but I hope management fees are now charged by saleable area and not gross floor area.
superdx
What the heck is the efficiency rate of a flat??
 
 
 
 
 

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