Big story on TVB tonight about a VP and and two flunkies at Centaline Real estate going to jail for in one case a whopping three years - hey we're talking what they give murderers here- for taking "Tea Money" or under the table finders fees. Holy cow! There maybe there is hope for Hong Kong yet. But maybe I'm just an optimist.
We've been looking for a new flat and it is so hard because you cannot know what is a better value by looking at advertisements. One 1200 square foot flat may actually be about 1000 square feet and and another one about 800 square feet. If you look at village houses it is even worse because they do not show pictures of the actual dwelling! Every time I deal with the real estate agents here I feel like I need a shower, they just make me feel so dirty. To help solve this problem the real estate association has come up with a set of guidelines on how to figure the interior size of flats. These now tell developers that it is unethical to figure window sills as part of the square footage. Now of course they couldn't just measure the gross internal space excluding the obvious window sills, AC ledges and balconies that are not listed in places with governments that make a cursory effort to care about having honest weights and measures. No, even with these new voluntary rules if the flat is listed at 800 square feet you can expect about 600 or less actual space inside.
But I guess that all this just means that the HK Real Estate association is living up to it's motto: "We give lawyers a good name"
Until Next Time
The blogger who isn't a real estate agent