Small continues to be the emerging trend of Hong Kong’s starter home market in the Year of the Pig.
The first residential project to go on sale this year is AVA 228, where many studio units are smaller than a standard-sized car parking space.
Located in Sham Shui Po, one of the poorest and most densely populated districts in Hong Kong, AVA offers studio flats of 129 square feet. In Hong Kong, a standard car parking space is 135 square feet.
However the new flats are not quite so small as those offered last year by T-Plus in Tuen Mun, where units were 125 square feet. This compares to cells in Stanley Prison, which are reportedly 80.7 square feet.
The market has been watching with interest to find out this week how much private investor Lo Wah, owner of AVA 228, will charge for the new development’s 160 units.
Although they have been the emerging trend in the Hong Kong residential market, small units also suffered the biggest hit in last year’s housing market correction.
According to the Rating and Valuation Department, the price index for small apartments under 430 square feet fell 7.9% in the six months to December 2018.
T-Plus managed to price their cheapest unit at HK$2.85 million (US$363,169), or over HK$21,000 (US$2,675) per square foot for a home with barely enough space to accommodate even a bed, washroom and refrigerator.
But small means fat profits for residential developers, especially in a city like Hong Kong, where residential space is a scarce resource. As a result, even millionaires in Hong Kong have to tolerate living in tiny homes.
At AVA 228, one feature that stands out from the other new residential projects is the long period before it is due to be completed. This means that today’s buyers can expect to take over their new flat at the end of 2011, or 28 months away.