測量師時代 SURVEYORS TIMES

Issue: 2011.12

New Measures for Residential Flat Sales

After almost one year of study, the government is finally proposing new regulations for the sale of first-hand residential property. While it is a welcoming time for the whole society to re-examine how best to balance the wishes of buyers, developers and agents, it might be worth a bit of time to take stock of the present situation.

For developers, every development project is a massive investment, and there is no threshold for mistakes. How keen this competition is among various developers is never clearer demonstrated by the avalanche of new flats put into the market during the recent rather gloomy period. While logic would presume waiting until better conditions thus achieving higher prices a more prudent choice, the very real fear against a shrinking market would drive developers to snap up as many purchasers as available before demand dries up.

In this competitive and versatile industry, marketing plays an indispensable role as its ability to transcend a residential flat into THE PERFECT LIFE is crucial in clinching a sale.

In normal circumstances, a well thought out site should involve the marketing and sales team at its most initial stages in informing the development crew members about the latest market trends and position. The naming of the property is the first cannon of this long battle, and we would no doubt notice the similarities of diction used at a particular period of time. These names, as always bear no indication of the location or the caliber of its clientele.

The design of the common area may have little direct relevance to the quality of the internal part of each flat, but its significance in weaving the Perfect Life façade cannot be stressed more. High-ceiling domed lobbies glittering with palatial crystal chandeliers, replicas of famous artwork are the first greeting which meets the eyes of residents and visitors, and its grandeur certainly reinforces a good feeling of refined taste and culture. Inside a flat, a connoisseur grade coffee machine may not cost much for the developers, but its presence would increase the flat’s value in the residents’ mind, and ultimately, the price of the property. Moreover, such provisions would often overshadow other issues that are more important for the purchasers in making their decision to buy.

Media promotion and sales brochures are two powerful tools in creating an image of the perfect life, and they are definitely employed to the developers’ greatest advantage. Presently it is not unusual to see minimal, if any, indication of where the property is located in advertisements. Nor is it uncommon for artistic impressions to as prominent or even sole representation of the development or surrounding areas. Photos in sales brochures are often big close-ups of scantily clad women relaxing next to shimmering blue, happy families looking into the horizon and cute grinning babies looking right at the reader. These may not be the most relevant images informing the details of the development, but nevertheless a great opportunity to highlight the bliss of living in the development regardless of the shape and size of the swimming pool and how the interior of the flat is really like.

Last but not least, show flats are the ultimate experience to the aspirations in a person’s quality of life. It is the final step to put an abstract idea into reality. Designed by the best decorators with the goal to impress and dazzle, practicality may not be the priority in the innovative displays of fixtures and furniture. In certain cases, precision in the dimensions may even be in doubt.

With the publication of a report on regulating the sale of first-hand residential properties by legislation, it is the best time for all parties in the industry to ponder and contribute their insights, or the end result of these proposals may not be what the authorities intended.

Surveyors with their expertise and professionalism should voice out their opinion. This short report will be of utmost importance to the future layout of the industry, and as major stake holders we have the right and the responsibility to make sure the final legislation is well thought out, productive to Hong Kong’s economy and protective to both buyers and sellers in the market.

 

 

 

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