‘Falling home prices dampen sentiment for HOS flats’

‘Falling home prices dampen sentiment for HOS flats’

A drop in property prices might explain why fewer people are interested in applying for the latest round of subsidised housing, a lawmaker said on Monday.

Applications for more than 9,100 new Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) units – located in Kai Tak, Kwun Tong, Tuen Mun and Yuen Long – opened on July 31 and closed on Monday.

As of 5pm, the Housing Authority said it had received some 160,000 applications.

Speaking on an RTHK programme earlier in the day, lawmaker Leung Man-kwong, who’s also a member of the authority’s subsidised housing committee, noted that there were more than 200,000 applications for new HOS flats last year, when Hong Kong was still in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He pointed out that the recent drop in property prices, coupled with an uncertain economic outlook, could’ve dampened buyers’ interest for the latest round of flats.

“When applications [for subsidised homes] began [last month], property prices were not only plateauing, but were showing a downward trend. There were also some new private flats being sold at a relatively cheaper price which was closer to that of subsidised housing,” he said.

“People might be wondering whether it would be even cheaper to purchase a private flat instead.”

However, some prospective homeowners still showed up at the authority’s customer service centre in Lok Fu on the last day of applications, including a man surnamed Ng.

“I am trying my luck because this is a lucky draw,” he told RTHK.

For another buyer, surnamed Pang, she was hoping to secure a subsidised flat at Kai Tak or Kwun Tong.

“For us grassroots, getting a subsidised home is better, because it is less of a burden,” she said.


Last updated: 2023-08-14 HKT 21:17

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