Hong Kong 2006
Chapter 11:
Housing Policy
Institutional Framework
Public Rental Housing
Home Ownership
Housing for Groups
in Special Need
Housing Supply
Private Sector Housing
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Private Sector Housing

Private Residential Property Market

The number of transactions that took place in the primary private residential property market in the first half of 2006 was comparatively small, but sales picked up in the second half of the year when more large-scale residential developments were put on sale. The volume of transactions in the secondary market remained stable in 2006. The total number of registered transactions in 2006 was 82 472. Compared to the year before, the overall residential price index at the end of 2006 rose moderately by 4 per cent. The overall rental index at the end of 2006 increased by 6 per cent from the end of 2005.

Estate Agents

The Estate Agents Authority (EAA) is an independent statutory body responsible for licensing and regulating estate agents. Under the Estate Agents Ordinance and the Estate Agents (Licensing) Regulation, all estate agents are required to have a licence to practise.

Two other sets of regulations — the Estate Agents Practice (General Duties and Hong Kong Residential Properties) Regulation and the Estate Agents (Determination of Commission Disputes) Regulation — also govern the industry. The former relates to the conduct, duties and practice of licensed estate agents. The latter prescribes rules and procedures for the EAA to mediate in disputes between estate agents and their clients over commissions and fees. There is also the Estate Agents (Registration of Determination and Appeal) Regulation which prescribes the procedural rules for lodging appeals to the District Court against the EAA's determinations.

Sales of Uncompleted Residential Properties

Developers of private residential units may apply for consent from the Director of Lands to put up units for sale before completion. To ensure that accurate information is provided to prospective purchasers before they enter into any property transactions, the Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong (REDA) has established a self-regulatory regime asking its members to provide sufficient and accurate information in sales brochures in accordance with the REDA's guidelines. The REDA formed a Compliance Committee in 2006 to monitor the self-regulatory regime and handle complaints against its members. The REDA, Government, Consumer Council and the EAA work closely to keep the self-regulating regime working smoothly and to make improvements when needed.

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