The government will offer a new batch of flats for sale this year under the Home Ownership Scheme (HOS), as it strives to meet the growing demand for subsidized units amid an increasingly unaffordable broader property market.
The Hong Kong Economic Journal reports, citing a source, that a total of 4,893 HOS flats will be provided this year, the largest such number offered the program since the Housing Authority (HA) resumed the sale of HOS flats in 2014.
Nearly all of the flats are understood be in six new estates – in Ho Man Tin, Cheung Sha Wan, Tsuen Wan, Tseung Kwan O, Man On Shan and Fo Tan.
The six estates will account for as many as 4,871 flats, offering units with a saleable area between 276 and 568 square feet each.
It is also understood that 22 flats from the HOS in 2016 and 2017, for which property deals were canceled, will also be sold this time.
All of the newly offered HOS flats will be sold at a discount of 41 percent off the market prices, or between HK$1.56 million and HK$5.29 million, the source said.
By comparison, the discount applied to the HOS flats that were sold last year was 48 percent.
Based on the lowest price, a Green Form applicant only needs to make a down payment of about HK$78,000 to own a HOS flat, provided he can borrow up to 95 percent of the value of the property.
HA’s Subsidized Housing Committee is scheduled to hold a meeting on Friday to discuss detailed arrangements.
Meanwhile, HA has raised the total monthly household income limit for a household size of two or more that is qualified to apply to HK$58,000, or around 1.8 percent higher than that set in 2018, while the total net household asset value limit is also to be raised to HK$2.01 million, up 2.6 percent from HK$1.96 million.
For a single applicant, the two aforementioned limits will be cut half.
Under the HA’s recommendation, balloting for this round of HOS flats will be undertaken in August, and the flats will be open for application by qualified people in May. The first batch of successful applicants is expected to be asked to select their flats in November.
The HA recommended maintaining a 50/50 ratio to Green Form and White Form applicants for this batch of HOS flats.
It also suggested allowing successful applicants with seniors in their families to enjoy priority in selecting flats to their liking. About 1,500 units could go to such applicants, while roughly 500 units in the six estates could be reserved for single applicants, as per the recommendation.
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