Hong Kong’s property market continues to make waves in these turbulent times. A 598 square feet flat at Fung Tak Estate in Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon, has been sold for HK$5.26 million (US$674,000), making it the most expensive public rental housing unit in Hong Kong, according to data from the Housing Authority. The new buyer has shelled out more than 14 times the HK$370,000 the original owner paid for the flat in 1998. In the process, it broke the record set by a 544 sq ft public housing flat in Lower Wong Tai Sin Estate in the same neighbourhood, which was sold for HK$4.56 million in May. “It is a massive amount for a low-income family,” said Derek Chan, research head at Ricacorp Properties. Hong Kong’s used home prices rose at a slower pace in May as escalating trade war deters buyers from big-ticket purchases He added that buyers are so desperate that they were willing to pay whatever amount was being quoted to get their hands on any property in the city. Public rental homes can be sold to those who are eligible for applying public rental flats without paying a premium to the Housing Authority. A 35 per cent premium is payable to the government on the estimated market value of the property if it is sold on the open market. In this case the sale price would have been HK$7.1 million. At present, a Hong Kong couple with a maximum gross monthly income of HK$18,690 and assets of up to HK$348,000, or an individual earning a maximum of HK$11,830, are eligible to apply for public rental flats. At the end of March, about 146,300 applications were pending for such government-funded abodes, with the average waiting time for allotments extending to nearly five and a half years. Chan said the long waiting period for public housing units leaves applicants frustrated when they see property prices rising incessantly. Prices of Hong Kong’s lived-in homes have increased by 10.4 per cent in the first five months of the year. Data from the Rating and Valuation Department showed that an index of used homes rose by 1.4 percentage points in May to a historical high of 396.8. Separately, figures from Centaline Property Agency showed that property transactions, including residential, car parks and shops, worth HK$397.5 billion, were concluded in the first half, slightly less than the HK$403.7 billion sealed in the first six months of 2018.