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Hong Kong housing

Sale of latest Hong Kong subsidised homes likely to be more competitive than last year

Panel chairman thinks more public housing tenants will apply in wake of changes to force well-off residents to move out

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 February, 2017, 9:01am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 February, 2017, 9:01am

The forthcoming sale of the latest batch of government subsidised flats is expected to be more competitive than last year, according to a Housing Authority representative.

Some 2,057 flats in three housing estates in Kowloon and on Lantau Island under the government’s Home Ownership Scheme will be up for grabs in August.

The flats in Choi Hung and Mui Wo, ranging from 368 sq ft to 552 sq ft, are priced between HK$1.39 million and HK$3.85 million, according to the authority’s tentative price list.

Hong Kong buyers snap up deals on discounted public housing flats

Under the government scheme targeted at boosting home ownership in the world’s least affordable city, prices are usually set at a 30 per cent discount to market rates.

Stanley Wong Yuen-fai, chairman of the authority’s subsidised housing committee, said he expected a more competitive round of applications compared to last year.

“Since we changed our well-off tenant policy [last year], that may push some to apply [as a public housing resident],” Wong said.

Under the new policy, public housing tenants will have to vacate their flats as early as October if their monthly income exceeds the limit by five times, or if their net assets exceed the limit by 100 times. This will free up flats for those on the waiting list.

Wong also expected sales to be smoother as market conditions last year had drawn a mixed response from the public.

Public housing policy shake-up could slash wait times, but there’s bad news for existing tenants

“People have a different outlook on the property market [this year]. Property prices are likely to be stable, whereas last year many believed the market was on the decline,” Wong said.

Last year, a lengthy 10-month gap between when the prices were set and the actual sales date gave rise to uncertainties for potential applicants.

Public housing residents and those who meet set income and asset limits can apply at the end of March.

Single applicants who earn below HK$26,000 and have assets below HK$850,000 are eligible. Family applicants with a monthly income less than HK$52,000 and assets below HK$1.7 million are eligible.

The committee will finalise details on the coming Tuesday.