Youth line up for a housing bargain

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 March, 2013, 4:07am

Young people seeking a housing bargain waited in line at the Housing Authority yesterday to get brochures and application forms for more than 800 surplus Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) flats.

"If I don't purchase now, I don't know when the housing prices will stop skyrocketing," said Chan Hung-cheung, 21, who is studying digital music and media at the Hong Kong Design Institute

He said his family is helping him with the downpayment. Chan, who is living with his family of four in a 400 sq ft private unit in To Kwa Wan, said he was not worried about the quality of the flat as the government had inspected the units.

Van Cheng, 27, a saleswoman, said: "If I'm lucky enough to be selected in the ballot, I'll check the flat first and then decide. If the unit does not look good, I won't buy it," she said.

She did not consider the subsidised Greenview Villa in Tsing Yi and the revised HOS flats that were put on sale in January as they were too expensive for her.

About 4,300 forms were given out in Lok Fu by 5pm yesterday. Among the 832 flats on sale, 825 of them were removed from sale at the height of a short-piling scandal 14 years ago in Tin Chung Court, Tin Shui Wai.

The HOS project was completed in 1999, but the sale of two blocks was suspended after it was disclosed that contractors had cut corners.

It was part of a scandal that affected several other projects, including two blocks in Sha Tin that had to be demolished.

The fault in the Tin Chung flats have since been remedied and have been approved for sale.

Flats with saleable areas ranging from 506 sq ft to 650 sq ft, are offered to families earning no more than HK$40,000 a month and have total net household assets of less than HK$830,000. For individuals the limits are halved. Prices of the flats - set at a 30 per cent discount on market value, range from HK$1,194,500 to HK$2,105,900.

Other flats being sold in this scheme are in Aberdeen, Fanling, Ma On Shan, Tseung Kwan O and Tin Shui Wai.

Bidders can submit the applications forms from next Thursday to April 10. An open ballot to select prospective buyers will be held in mid-May.