Apex Horizon hotel room buyer fails to auction off suite

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 March, 2013, 4:36am

One of the buyers in last month's high-profile sale of suites in the Apex Horizon hotel has been unable to auction off the purchase, even at a reduced price, because of the uncertainties involved.

The failure comes after buyers' complaints to the police and the Estate Agents Authority, highlighting the government's warning about the sales' risky nature.

A spokesman for AA Property Auctioneers confirmed with the South China Morning Post that it had cancelled an auction of a 36th floor hotel unit in Apex Horizon because of uncertainties arising from the agreement between the buyer and the developer. The Apex, in Kwai Chung, was sold off by property giant Cheung Kong.

"Some parts in the agreement are unclear and worrying," the spokesman said.

Some parts in the agreement are unclear and worrying

"Unlike auctioning a property, we would be auctioning something like a rental licence," he said, although he declined to elaborate on exactly what risks were involved.

The asking price of the auctioned unit was HK$3.08 million - reportedly about 4 per cent lower than its purchase price, reflecting a sharp decline in buyer enthusiasm.

The sales sparked controversy last month because selling off a hotel in separate units is unprecedented in the city. Buyers were told by property agents and the hotel developer that they could live in the units as a tenant - despite the government's correspondence with the developer stressing that the units were not meant for residential use.

All 360 hotel rooms were sold in two days - to crowds of investors and buyers looking for a flat - despite warnings from government officials and the Consumer Council.

The Estate Agents Authority said it has so far received seven complaints from buyers.