Date
16 August 2017
Buyers of subsided public housing flats in Tai O could face high management fees, adding to their long-term costs. Photo: HKEJ
Buyers of subsided public housing flats in Tai O could face high management fees, adding to their long-term costs. Photo: HKEJ

Govt slammed over high management fee at Tai O flats

Hong Kong’s Housing Authority will carry out a draw of lots on Thursday to decide the apartment selection sequence for the 80-plus Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) flats in Tai O that it is offering for sale, Apple Daily reported Thursday.

The batch of HOS flats in Tin Lee Court in Lung Tin Estate on Lantau Island were referred to as the cheapest ones in HOS history, but the monthly management fee for the flats will average HK$4.27 (US$55 cents) per square foot, which is comparable to the fees at ultra luxury estates at West Kowloon waterfront, the report noted.

Some citizens’ groups have said the high management fee is not acceptable. 

Luxury housing estates in Tsim Sha Tsui and near Kowloon Station are asking for HK$1.5 to HK$4.95 per square foot in management fees, with offerings such as club houses, swimming pools and other recreational facilities, none of which are available at Tin Lee Court.

If a buyer puts 90 percent of the price of a Tin Lee flat on mortgage, the monthly installment will amount to between HK$2,500 and HK$3,600, which is a very affordable expense in Hong Kong in terms of housing. However, the buyers should be aware that they could be coughing up a similar amount for management fees, activists say.

Wong Kwan, chairman of the Federation of Public Housing Estates, noted that the average management fee of HOS flats in Hong Kong is under HK$1 per square foot. The high rates that the Tin Lee Court is charging are therefore unacceptable, he said.

He believes the remote location of the site and the small number of flats could be the reasons behind the higher charges as there is no economy of scale.

The Housing Authority said security and cleaning services contracts for the Tin Lee Court were awarded through open tenders and that the best price offers were selected.

Prices will range between HK$641,000 (US$82,390) and HK$897,000 for apartments of 475 to 485 square feet, according to the Housing Authority.

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