Only one out of every 45 applicants may be allowed to buy an apartment in the latest batch of subsidized housing units under the government’s Home Ownership Scheme, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Tuesday.
A total of 41,000 applications had been received as of 5 p.m. Monday, two hours before the deadline. But only 2,160 units are available, 60 percent of which will be allocated to green-form applicants. Of the applications, 95 percent are in white form.
The white application form is for non-residents of public housing estates and offers smaller subsidies, while the green form is for those currently renting units in public housing estates and cannot afford private flats.
The robust demand for the HOS units reflects the huge number of end-users who have been driving up prices in the secondary market where supply is scarce.
Realty agents said it’s no longer possible to find second-hand HOS flatslower than HK$2 million (US$257,965) in urban areas nowadays. HOS units can be traded from the third year of purchase.
According to latest survey of the Public Opinion Program of the University of Hong Kong, 90 percent of Hong Kong citizens believe that housing should be the top priority of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, followed by the economy and political issues.
The government, meanwhile, is reportedly considering a new housing scheme for the so-called sandwich class, or those who have assets exceeding the HOS limit but cannot afford private housing.
About 1,500 new public housing units will be launched in Sha Tin for lower-income households, government sources said, citing CY Leung’s annual policy address to be delivered on Wednesday.
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