Scenic Design

Poor sweat it out in 'flesh steamers'

For most families the recent heat wave has been just an inconvenience, easily handled by ducking under an air conditioner. But for people like Deng Aixia and her two children, the high temperatures could have had deadly consequences.

Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 11:03pm

Too late to object to flat-sale law

No one willingly gives up an advantage. Property developers have always had the upper hand when selling flats, being able to market and sell to buyers in whichever way they see fit. Naturally, they are unhappy about a law planned for next year that will regulate their activities and set tough penalties for violations.

5 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Developers defend gross area flat figures

Buyers need to know the gross floor area of a flat, otherwise they cannot compare the leisure and green facilities of different estates, the Real Estate Developers Association says.

17 Jan 2011 - 12:00am

Inspections give peace of mind

When Mr and Mrs Wong were planning to buy a second-hand flat in east Kowloon, they were concerned there might be hidden problems.

Would the roof leak, or would there be cracks on the walls they couldn't spot? It was a big decision, so before they signed the deal, they decided to enlist the help of a clerk of works to inspect the unit.

15 Oct 2010 - 12:00am

Developers try to get round control measures

Developers have tried to water down the impact of tightened controls on their flat sale tactics that took effect yesterday, exploiting an ambiguous clause that the government has laid down to limit the potential for price manipulation.

2 Jun 2010 - 12:00am

Controls loom for showroom flats

Developers may be forced to provide an unfurnished flat in showrooms in the future so buyers can judge how big a home they are going to get.

13 Apr 2010 - 12:00am

Buyers entitled to see what they are paying for

Just when the subject of Hong Kong's shrinking flats seems to have been exhausted, it gets a new lease of life. Despite recent moves to ensure more transparency in marketing, property developers continue to try to convince us that less is more.

8 Dec 2009 - 12:00am

New property rules come at the right time

As Hongkongers have grown richer, their new flats, ironically, have actually been getting smaller. This is because living space in proportion to the gross floor area of their homes has consistently shrunk over the past three decades. Buying a flat is usually the most important financial decision a person can make in his or her lifetime.

23 Nov 2009 - 12:00am

Rules will make flat pricing clearer

Home hunters will get a better idea of how much they are going to pay for the space they will actually live in under new measures to boost transparency of the sale of uncompleted flats.

21 Nov 2009 - 12:00am

Buyers entitled to know true size of flats they buy

One thing that sets Hong Kong apart from other cities is that, as prosperity and home ownership have risen over the years, new living spaces have shrunk in size rather than expanded. At the same time, the real cost per square foot of living area has gone up.

27 Sep 2009 - 12:00am


Developers are aggressively marketing high-profile projects in the primary market using extensive advertising campaigns, television commercials and print media.

Show flats get a full makeover to draw homebuyers, and emphasis is on comprehensive clubhouse facilities.

9 Nov 2007 - 12:00am

What exactly are you buying? It depends on who does the sums

The way developers determine specifications such as ceiling height and 'saleable area' are a mystery to many flat buyers. Developers often include common areas, wall thickness and external facilities to calculate gross floor sizes - and floor thickness in storey hight.

5 Jun 2007 - 12:00am

Space evaders

'How big is your flat?' It's one of the most common questions Hongkongers ask each other. It's a simple enough question, but the answer is complicated - and confusing.

22 Jun 2006 - 12:00am

House-hunting tips

Make your intentions clear. Good property agents will take the time to understand your requirements. If they do not, spell it out to them - whether it is a relatively new building with a clubhouse, a high floor or a quiet street.

29 Sep 2005 - 12:00am

Out-of-touch planners sentence Hongkongers to life in a shoebox

'SHKP opts to build fewer but bigger flats'

SCMP headline, September 16

IF YOU WANT the obvious stated, find yourself a journalist, they say. If you want it repeated, look no further than a columnist.

19 Sep 2005 - 12:00am