Hong Kong's 'tiniest flats ever' go on sale for HK$2 million

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 14 December, 2014, 5:01am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 December, 2014, 9:07am

In crowded Hong Kong, with its skyrocketing property prices, developers are building ever-more miniscule flats with relatively small price tags. The question is: can you live in them?

Hongkongers got a hint at the answer yesterday when developer Cheung Kong showcased some of the city's smallest new flats at its Mont Vert II estate in Tai Po. Of the 22 homes for sale, nine were 180 sq ft.

Buyers in a round of sales in July had to sign up to buy the flats without seeing them, but the developer later reversed that policy.

A Sunday Morning Post reporter joined the potential buyers to view three of the flats.

She crossed one of the 180 sq ft flats in five paces. One relatively small person could just stretch her arms out without touching the two walls of the one room.

There would be space for a bed, but a sofa would be a luxury too far. The kitchen has room for one person to stand but not for an electric stove or a refrigerator, and no gas stove.

Such flats in that block cost between HK$1.59 million to HK$1.65 million, depending on which floor they are on.

The reporter was then ushered to a comparatively cavernous 196 sq ft home in a different block, which offered a slightly larger kitchen. These flats were offered for as little as HK$1.5 million. Another 180 sq ft flat in a different block was similar to the first but had only a sink, not a kitchen. Prices for that model started at HK$1.47 million.

One factor affecting the price was the fact that several tombs could be seen from some of the bedrooms, something that many superstitious Hong Kong buyers would prefer to avoid.

For now, buyers can only buy the tiny flats bundled with a three-room flat costing more HK$7 million. But the developer says the small flats may be offered separately should the packages fail to sell - although prices may be pushed up. Even smaller flats will be offered in the future, measuring just 165 sq ft.

But buyers have had a lukewarm response. Just three of the 22 flats sold yesterday, none of them the smaller ones.

Still, Sammy Po Siu-ming, chief executive of Midland Realty's residential department, expressed hope.

"There has been strong demand for one-room flats from first-time buyers over the past six months," he said.