We are living in Hong Kong where space is measured with a ruler of gold, and in value of diamond. In order to satisfy the housing needs of the general public, one has to be creative, courageous, and caring.
From 1950s to 1980s, Hong Kong had experienced a drastic increase of population. Lots of buildings were built to accommodate the citizens. After several decades, many buildings are old and dilapidated, and even do not have basic facilities, such as elevator. Those buildings also failed to meet the current requirement of green building, barrier free access, etc. According to Hong Kong Government data, there are more than 6,000 buildings aged 50 years or above. The number will increase by 500 a year over the next decade. There is an urgent need of urban renewal. Private sector has a role to play in urban renewal initiatives.
The owners of these properties are facing the problems of old buildings, outdated facilities, low in liquidity, low market price , arising from the difficulty in obtaining an optimum loan by the potential buyers and high maintenance cost. Being nostalgic is not the way out. Property assembly and redevelopment provide a practical choice for the owners of the old buildings.
My colleagues and I started our business of buying-out old buildings in the 1980s and have since built up our leading role in the in the field. I am very appreciatively that some flat owners will call us direct to discuss selling their flats.
From time to time, friends would ask me why I want to invest in such high risk, low return, and lengthy projects. However, when they witness the outcome of our building assembly and brokerage work, they agree that our business has been contributing to the community, apart from being a commercial enterprise: the elderly flat tenants do not have to suffer from falling cement, water seepage, broken window seals and failing electricity supply, and pay for the expensive yet stopgap maintenance measures, but instead enjoy a higher quality and more stable living.
“Change for the better”. Selling out the property for a replacement could help many senior property owners to transform their life into better living conditions. It could also stimulate urban renewal, increase the housing supply and regenerate the communities. We will focus on the assembly projects in various prime locations around the metro area.
The flexibility, openness, transparency and accountability in our work practice enable us to participate well as private sector in the urban renewal initiative. We are pleased that we have provided assistance to the government. This can very much demonstrate our wish to be originating from Hong Kong, and flourishing in the local community.
We promise to provide the best services to flat owners, developers, Mainland investors and the government through our consistently caring, professional and equitable services.
We believe we could build and enhance our image and branding in urban renewal. We would provide a modernized living environment to the general public, and inject vigour, vibrance and vitality in the local community.
We will also dedicate our works to corporate social responsibility to contribute for the society.
Au Wing Wah
Chairman of Richfield Realty Limited