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Hong Kong housing

Unsold flats at Hong Kong’s De Novo project being sold at market prices

Many buyers backed out amid declining property prices when Urban Renewal Authority first marketed the flats at a 20 per cent discount to market prices

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 April, 2017, 7:24pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 April, 2017, 10:28pm

The Urban Renewal Authority put 16 unsold flats at its first subsidised housing development up for sale at market prices on Wednesday.

The flats in De Novo in Kai Tak, ranging from 442 sq ft to 562 sq ft, will be sold for about HK$7 ­million to HK$9 million, or HK$15,043 to HK$16,450 per sq ft.

The sale came after the authority’s board decided last year that the unsold units in the development targeting families too well-off to apply for public housing, should be sold at market prices.

Hong Kong buyers stay away as flats at subsidised De Novo development in Kai Tak go on sale

The development has 484 flats, with 338 under the authority’s subsidised housing scheme and 146 for owners affected by the ­authority’s redevelopment projects.

A total of 322 subsidised flats were sold last year, with prices set 20 per cent lower than market value at a range of HK$3.4 million to HK$6.6 million.

The project initially drew more than 12,000 applications, but against the backdrop of a drop in property prices last year, many applicants backed out.

Sammy Po Siu-ming, chief executive in Midland Realty’s residential division, said the authority might have considered it a good time to sell the leftover flats as the property market had – unlike last year – become stronger.

“None of us expected the market would pick up so rapidly,” Po said.

He said the prices set by the authority were attractive compared to other developments in the Kai Tak area.

Single people can buy subsidised flats in Hong Kong after sudden policy U-turn by Urban Renewal Authority

K. City, developed by K. Wah Group, set its prices at an average of HK$21,300 per sq ft, while flats at Vibe Centro, developed by mainland developer Poly Property Group, are selling for an average of HK$24,200 per sq ft.

“The [authority’s] prices are very reasonable,” Po said. “The sizes of the flats are also very popular at the moment.”

The authority will hold a ballot on the coming Tuesday to determine the order of priority for potential purchasers in selecting and purchasing units at the De Novo development.

Flat selection will start next Thursday .