Hong Kong’s Kowloon district is about to realise a new benchmark for tiny home sizes that will test the market’s tolerance for what’s considered liveable space, with one developer set to launch a project in Sham Shui Po featuring layouts starting at 129 square feet, the smallest on record for the area.
The 22-storey residential block named AVA 228 will feature 160 units with sizes ranging from 129 sq ft to 249 sq ft, according to the website of Magic Sight Holdings, a privately held developer owned by property investor Lo Wah.
The AVA 288 project will not hold the crown for the city’s smallest flats, a distinction that goes to the T-Plus development in Tuen Mun, which began selling flats last year in configurations beginning at 128 sq ft.
During the T-Plus sales launch of 27 flats on December 8, just two of the project’s larger units in layouts of 300 sq ft to 400 sq ft were sold.
Veteran surveyor Vincent Cheung said the layouts at AVA 228 were the tiniest homes ever released in the dense Kowloon area.
He expects the market outlook for micro flats, particularly those in the New Territories, would be negative as homebuyers become selective in their purchases amid the ongoing price correction.
Still Cheung believes AVA 228, about a five minute walk to the Sham Shui Po MTR station, could draw interest from homebuyers if offered at attractive prices.
“AVA 228 development may be different as it is located at the city centre,” said Cheung.
He expects the smallest flats at AVA 228 could cost HK$2.3 million (US$293,051) if the developer priced them at HK$18,000 per sq ft, a price level that matches comparable flats in the same area.
“It is nearly impossible to buy a private new flat at this amount in the city centre. It will be attractive to some investors and end users with limited budgets,” he said.
CK Asset Holdings executive director Justin Chiu Kwok-hung cautioned in December that
prices for tiny flats could tumble as much as 30 per cent in 2019 as demand softens.
Chiu said “in his personal view” that prices of such units, with a size of less than 200 sq ft, or smaller than a car park space, would suffer most because growth of the segment had been saturated, as more than 10,000 tiny flats had sold in recent years.
From its peak in August through December, Hong Kong home prices have tumbled 9.2 per cent, according to the home price index released by Rating and Valuation.