Hong Kong property

‘Haunted’ flat, scene of 1996 gas-poison murders in Hong Kong, sells with heavy discount — still makes a profit

Chan Ying-cheung’s deadly deeds cast a long shadow on this property’s resale value

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 January, 2016, 9:17pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 July, 2017, 8:25am

A haunted flat in Tsuen Wan in which six people were poisoned and gassed to death in 1996 has finally found a buyer, who paid half the market price for the unit no one would touch.

Veteran haunted-home investor Chan Ying-kai, who owned the apartment, confirmed the sale, saying the deal was concluded on New Year’s Eve.

“It was sold for HK$1.6 million and the buyer was a Catholic couple,” he told the South China Morning Post yesterday. That translates to HK$4,278 per sq ft, 54 per cent below the average transaction price in the housing estate, according to Centaline Property Agency.

In 1996, a man killed his wife, three children and two tenants at the flat with a combination of poison and gas. The family had rented the flat but had fallen behind on payments because of business difficulties, forcing the family to sublet the 374 square foot to two other people.

READ MORE: Hong Kong haunted houses: online map of who died where is boon for the curious, the ghoulish and bargain hunters alike

The man, Chan Ying-cheung, the sole survivor of that tragedy, was sentenced to an indefinite term at Siu Lam psychiatric centre.

Owner Chan Ying-kai will pocket a gain of HK$420,000 from the deal. He bought the 374 square foot unit of Tai Yuan House in Tsuen Wan Centre for HK$1.18 million in 2011.

Chan has had to cut the asking price twice before finding the willing buyers.

The unit was originally offered for HK$2.2 million in December. He later reduced it to HK$1.8 million and again cut to HK$1.68 million. Finally, he accepted the couple’s offer of HK$1.6 million on Thursday night.

“These flats are not easy to sell as no banks will provide a mortgage,” he said.

The unit has been on lease to a woman for about five years. Chan decided to sell after the tenant, who bought a flat elsewhere, moved out.

READ MORE: ‘Hello Kitty’ murder to the ‘jars’ killer: five of Hong Kong’s most gruesome crimes

In December 10, a 329-sq-ft unit on the same floor at Tai Yuan House changed hands for HK$2.28 million, or HK$6,930 per sq ft.

“Overall, the fung shui of these haunted flats is usually not so good. If someone does not believe in fung shui, it is their own choice,” said Wong Man-chiu, a fung shui master.

Wong has visited several haunted flats, including the site of the infamous “Hello Kitty” murder on Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. A young woman called Fan Man-yee was kidnapped and tortured over a small debt in 1999 in that apartment. She died after a month of captivity, then was cut into pieces and her skull was stuffed into a Hello Kitty doll.

“The Hello Kitty murder flat as well as other haunted flats are typically ill-lit, with little sunshine coming in,” he said. “Dark, negative thoughts are natural in these little homes with terrible fung shui.”