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Eva Cheng

Better regulation:  Secretary for Transport & Housing Eva Cheng tells a newly formed steering committee will look into regulating first-hand residential property sales through legislation.

Transport & Housing

The Transport & Housing Bureau formulates policies on Hong Kong's internal and external transportation, including air services, land transport, maritime transport and logistics; and maintains a fair and stable environment to enable sustained and healthy development of the property market.

Estate Agents Authority

The Estate Agents Authority is a statutory body that regulates the practice of estate agency, promotes integrity and competence within the industry, and facilitates training for estate agency practitioners.

Consumer Council

The Consumer Council is committed to enhancing consumer welfare and empowering consumers to protect themselves. It acts as an advocate for consumer interests, and facilitates constructive discussion and promulgation of pro-consumer policies.

Legislative Council

The Legislative Council's main functions are to enact laws, control public expenditure, and monitor the work of the Government.

Steering committee to study regulation of first-hand flat sale by legislation

October 20, 2010

Developers' practices in the sale of first-hand flats have recently become a focus of concern in our community. Secretary for Transport & Housing Eva Cheng tells a newly formed steering committee will look into regulating first-hand residential property sales through legislation.


The committee will start work soon, and the Government will present the committee’s recommendations in the form of a White Paper for public consultation. The Permanent Secretary for Transport & Housing (Housing) will chair the committee, which is expected to come up with their suggestions within one year.


The committee includes representatives from relevant professional organisations including the Consumer Council, Law Society of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors, Estate Agents Authority and Real Estate Developers Association, Ms Cheng said.


Other members include the Director of Buildings or his representative, Director of Lands or her representative, Deputy Secretary for Transport & Housing (Housing), lawmakers Lee Wing-tat and Prof Patrick Lau, academics Prof Andrew Chan and Prof Lam Kin-che, and lawyer Cheung Kwok-Kwan. The Transport & Housing Bureau will be the Secretariat.

Terms of reference

Ms Cheng said the committee will discuss issues centred on regulating first-hand residential property sales through legislation, including:

* the scope of legislative framework, for example the definition of first-hand properties to be covered under the legislation;

* the key features to be regulated under the proposed legislation, including sales practices, price lists, show flats and saleable area; and

* how the legislation will be enforced, and penalties for breaches.


The steering committee will have three subcommittees. A subcommittee on property information and show flats will study sales brochures, price lists, promotional materials, and floor-area definitions. Another on sales arrangements and practices will look into sales practices, such as internal sales and misrepresentation.


The third, on the enforcement mechanism and penalties, will identify a suitable agency to enforce the regulation, the level of penalties for breaches, and the nature of offences under the legislation.


Ms Cheng believed that the steering committee could come up with practical suggestions through rational discussion.


She stressed the Government will inform the Legislative Council's Housing Panel and the community about the committee's progress at appropriate stages.


"Our intention is to speed up the whole process, because we know the whole community is very concerned about the issue," she said.