Hong Kong buyers turn to “nano” flats amid high prices

Romesh Navaratnarajah18 Apr 2017

High density apartment buildings needed to combat land scarcity in Hong Kong.


Hong Kong saw the rise of new “nano” flats measuring less than 200 sq ft, with the urban district of Wan Chai having the highest proportion of such units at 10.8 percent of all homes completed last year, reported South China Morning Post.


Ryan Shum, Centaline’s marketing manager for Wan Chai, revealed that nano flats are not new in the district with sme flats completed in the 1980s also measuring less than 200 sq ft.


Midland Realty chief analyst Buggle Lau Kar-fai noted that people turn to small flats with a smaller lump sum as it is the only property that they could afford, given the high property prices.


“Another issue is the mortgage. Nano flats often cost less, so buyers without strong financial resources may be able to finance their purchase.”


However, Lau warned buyers of risks in nano flats.


“People won’t stay in nano homes forever. Even owner-occupiers will want to move to a bigger flat one day. If the market goes downward, then bigger flats will become more affordable, and owners of nano flats may find that the demand for such flats can decline.”


Notably, the Hong Kong government expect almost half of all new flats to be completed in 2018 to measure less than 400 sq ft each.


But while the government does not intend to reverse such trend, it may “consider imposing suitable requirements through sale conditions when individual residential sites are put up for sale,” said Secretary for Development Eric Ma Siu-cheung.


Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email romesh@propertyguru.com.sg


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