Government to buyout developer’s units

Thursday, July 22, 2010
Issue 1069, Page 4
Word count: 466
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The Government plans to take over the 125 units in the Hipódromo Neighbourhood affordable housing project from the developer in a bid to unify the prices of all the 880 units. However, lawmaker Ng Kuok Cheong pointed out that the Government might make a large profit from selling this public housing to local people.

Lawmakers Au Kam San, Chan Wai Chi and Ng Kuok Cheong from the New Macau Association met with president of the Housing Bureau (IH) Tam Kuong Man yesterday.

According to the housing development contract signed between the Government and developer Empresa de Desenvolvimento Predial Vitória S.A, gazetted in 2005, of the 880 affordable housing units built on the HR/HS land parcel near Rua da Tranquilidade in the Hipódromo Neighbourhood in Areia Preta, 125 belong to the developer.

It has also been agreed that the developer cannot sell its T1 (one-bedroom), T2, T3 and T4 units for over respectively MOP 140,000, MOP 180,000, MOP 200,000 and MOP 230,000.

Ng Kuok Cheong quoted Tam Kuong Man as saying that the Government intends to buyout all the 125 units from the developer, at the same prices that have been agreed on in the 2005 contract.

The Public Housing Affairs Committee has previously proposed that the selling price per square foot of affordable housing could be MOP 1,100.

Ng told reporters that if that is the case, the Government will be able to make a huge profit since, for example, a two-bedroom unit which is acquired at MOP 180,000 will be sold to the locals at MOP 590,000. A one-bedroom unit will be sold at some MOP 400,000 based on the proposal, he added.

Ng said whether or not it is justified for the Government to earn money by selling affordable housing is “another issue”, but the most important thing is that the construction cost must have to be made transparent to the public.

“Affordable housing prices should be calculated based on the construction cost. It seems that it’s not reasonable for the Government to hide the construction cost figures, buy the units at a low price from the developer and then sell them at a much higher price to the people,” the lawmaker said.

He urged the Government to disclose the related figures immediately, and calculate the selling prices accordingly and “perhaps add a little bit of administrative fees”.

Meanwhile, the IH said in a statement that the actual selling price of those 125 units is still “in negotiations”, and will be determined according to “the location, which floors they are on, as well as other factors”.

On the other hand, Ng Kuok Cheong said the Government plans to adjust the MOP 1,100 per square foot selling price based on the location and construction quality of the affordable housing, including the TN27 project in Taipa.

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