Applications began flooding in on Friday morning from Hongkongers hoping to buy a subsidised flat under the government’s new My Home Purchase Plan.
Competition is expected to be heavy for the first offering under the plan – Greenview Villa in Tsing Yi, where 988 flats in a three-block estate are expected to be available in 2015.
Many home-hunters on Friday morning said they were handing in an application form, at the Tai Hang office of the Housing Society, even though they did not fancy their chances of being chosen for the scheme.
“It’s like trying to buy shares in an in IPO [initial public offering],” said Fred Yeung Tsz-yin, a clerk in his early 30s who hopes he and his wife can get one of the subsidised flats.
The couple currently rent a flat in an old private building in Kowloon East, and the rent takes up half of their monthly income of just over HK$20,000.
“The rent keeps rising and we cannot continue to rent a flat in the long run,” Yeung said.
The Housing Society estimates the Greenview offering will be 10 times oversubscribed.
Tan Tick-chong, 65, handed in an application for his son, whose wife is expecting a baby.
Tan and his wife, son and daughter-in-law live together in a flat in Kornhill Garden, Quarry Bay, under the Home Ownership Scheme. The young couple hopes to move into a place of their own, with the baby on the way.
”The two of them earn around HK$30,000 a month,” Tan said. “There is no way they can afford private housing. But the chance [of being picked under the My Home scheme] is small.”
Applications will be accepted until January 18, and the results of the draw will be announced in February.
Individuals with a monthly income of HK$25,000 or less, and households with a monthly income of HK$40,000 or less are eligible. The flats are priced from HK$5,841 to HK$7,402 per sq ft in terms of saleable area – a 30 per cent market discount.