HK$4 million sale of ex-public flat in Fung Tak Estate beats Kowloon record

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 December, 2014, 5:13am
UPDATED : Friday, 19 December, 2014, 5:13am

A flat in a Wong Tai Sin estate has become the most expensive former public rental-housing residence in Kowloon after it was sold for HK$4 million.

The sale came as the government considered ways to expand forms of subsidised home ownership, to help the so-called "sandwich class", who cannot afford to buy a home in the private sector amid a continuous property boom but are too wealthy for public housing.

Land Registry records show the flat of about 440 sq ft on the 28th floor of Tsz Fung House in Fung Tak Estate was sold for HK$4 million, land premium included, earlier this month.

The price tag marks a record for public-housing flats on the Kowloon side. A flat at Wah Lai House in Wah Kwai Estate, Aberdeen, sold for HK$4.2 million in June last year. In the New Territories, the most expensive flat is in Wan Hang House in the public Wan Tau Tong Estate in Tai Po, which went for HK$3.68 million last month.

The previous record for a Kowloon public estate was a flat in nearby Fu Tung House in Tung Tau Estate, which sold for HK$3.6 million last month.

According to land registry records, the last transaction on the flat in the 23-year-old Fung Tak Estate was in September 2009, when it was sold for HK$1 million.

The flat was originally sold under the Housing Authority's Tenants Purchase Scheme (TPS), introduced in 1998 and terminated in 2002. Tenants of TPS estates can still exercise their right to purchase their flats.

Hody Lau Sin-tung, senior manager of Century 21 Hilltop Property Agency, said she did not find the Fung Tak Estate deal surprising. It was close to market prices for second-hand Home Ownership Scheme flats in the district, the agent said.

"It is one of the very few public-rental units put up for sale in the free market in the district. The layouts of flats in this estate are quite nice. In fact, there are very few flats under HK$4 million in the district, so this flat already falls under the low-price category," she said.

But Lawrence Wong Dun-king, president of Many Wells Property Agent, warned against any generalisation about market trends. "The supply of public rental flats for sale in the secondary market is very small because the government aborted the Tenants Purchase Scheme. So this is not really a good indicator."

In an attempt to meet increasing housing needs, the government has raised its target for new homes by 10,000 to 480,000 units for the next 10 years.

Among the 480,000 homes, 200,000 will be public rental flats, 90,000 will be subsidised flats for sale and 190,000 will be private homes, according to a report released three days ago.

The report also revealed the administration was studying ways to "expand the forms of subsidised home ownership".

Some have recommended that some of the newly built residential blocks planned as public rental housing could be converted into subsidised flats for sale to the "sandwich class".

Housing Society chairman Marco Wu Moon-hoi, a member of the committee responsible for formulating the city's long-term housing strategy, said yesterday he welcomed such a plan.

"This can benefit two families," he said, referring to the public rental-housing tenants who would now be able to afford to buy flats at discount prices, and those waiting for public rentals, who would be allocated the old flats of the former group.

He believed those new flats would attract public rental-housing tenants to buy. "New public rental-housing blocks have higher standards in terms of both planning and design. The quality has been improving."