Swire, Hong Kong Ferry to press on with new home sales
Market fears of a total halt in sales of new homes were dispelled yesterday after Hong Kong Ferry and Swire Properties said they would proceed with the sale of their new projects when new rules on flat sales take effect on Monday.
The Sales of First-hand Residential Properties Authority - the watchdog newly set up to regulate sales of new homes - had told the two developers to clarify the marketing materials they had submitted for scrutiny.
On April 22, Hong Kong Ferry's Green Code in Fanling and Swire Properties' Dunbar Place in Ho Man Tin submitted their sales brochures to the authority.
Under the new rules, developers must publish their sales brochures seven days before the official sales and must release the price list three days before the launch, to give potential buyers time to study the details.
"The two developers require only minor amendments to satisfy the authority. Otherwise, they would not run the risk of infringing the new rule by proceeding with the sales," an industry insider said.
Last night, Hong Kong Ferry said the remaining 146 units at Green Code would be offered for sale on Monday, while Swire Properties said it would announce the price list for Dunbar Place's 53 units today.
Swire Properties said: "We are reviewing the clarifications stated by the [authority] and will take into account what they have suggested.
"Other than confirming that the brochure is being uploaded, we have no further information to announce at this moment."
Although the two developers did not specify what needed to be changed, market sources believed Green Code needed to clarify the thickness of property walls and Swire included unnecessary information, such as the brands of the fittings in the bathroom and kitchen.
From Monday, sales brochures for all new projects must specify the size of new flats in terms of "saleable floor area", a common practice elsewhere that refers to the useable space in a flat.
The new law prohibits prices based on the "gross floor area" of flats, a calculation that includes pro rata allocations of portions of common areas, such as lift lobbies, clubhouses, electricity meter rooms and rubbish collection areas.