A nano-flat project being undertaken by a not-too-active developer and which carries an unorthodox name has emerged as the hottest new residential development in Hong Kong.
Edition 178, a redeveloped single building in Kwai Chung, has drawn 4,800 deposit checks from interested buyers for the 136 units on sale.
That means only one out of every 35 early home-seekers will be able to actually purchase a unit there, where apartment sizes range from about 225 sq ft to just under 400 sq ft.
The response in terms of initial deposits dwarfs a previous 4,500-check record for a new small-unit development, garnered by Henderson Land’s Novum West project in Sai Wan earlier this year.
Edition 178 is being developed by Team Worldwide, a private firm owned by the granddaughter of Nan Fung Development’s late founder Chen Ding-hwa.
The company, which has been relative inactive in the recent past, will be pleased to know that it has set a new record since the implementation of the Residential Properties (First-hand Sales) Ordinance in April 2013.
So, what’s the attraction?
For a minimum of HK$3.15 million, one can get a 225 sq ft unit. That puts Edition 178 at an average of HK$14,000 per sq ft, or about 10 percent higher than the prices in nearby second-hand residential properties.
Still, the HK$3 million minimum entrance fee is a gift in the red-hot property market – and that explains the 4,800 deposit checks.
Of course the check number may be inflated a bit because a couple with a kid could try for six chances in the ballot and put in multiple applications, though they may only want to buy one unit.
That said, the reality staring us in the face is the ever-growing demand for small homes, given the affordability factor.
Buying a home for HK$3 million is like winning a lottery, or perhaps better than winning a lottery because even if one wins a top prize, the money might not be enough to buy a dream house.
Edition 178 is the typical “toothpick-like” building which offers most of its units as studio or one-room. In fact, there are only a couple of two bed-room units of 398 square feet units, available at HK$8.5 million.
When it completes in November 2018, it will add to the supply of tiny units in our small city.
According to the government’s Rating and Valuation Department, close to 83 percent of the completed units this year are small units, defined as area below 753 sq ft. One-third of new homes are below 430 sq ft.
The share of new apartments in Hong Kong measuring below 431 sq ft jumped to 27 percent last year from 5 percent in 2010, a media report pointed out recently.
And the figure is expected to hit 43 percent next year.
Welcome to the age of shoebox living.
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