Hong Kong, officially Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, is recognized as one of the most dynamic and exiting cities in the world. Once a small fishing village, it has become one of the world’s most important financial centres with a population of some seven million people in less than two hundred years.
Since the British first arrived in Hong Kong during the Opium Wars in the mid-19th century, the tiny fishing village has undergone dramatic change, making it a dynamic cosmopolitan city that attracts business from all over the world. The iconic and breath-taking skyline, vast harbor and spectacular skyscrapers setting against a backdrop of green hills is a scene the one can hardly forget.
With over 50 nationalities in total resident, the multicultural popular of Hong Kong is indeed what makes this city so interesting. The city often named as the most expensive city for expatriates, and its high wealth concentration boosts the development of the property market that is one of, if not the most expensive housing market in the world.
The heart of the city is Hong Kong Island. There houses the business district of Central, together with most of the senior Government offices and the majority of the luxury properties. Opposite the island’s north shore is some of the most densely populated areas known as Kowloon, which also leads to the New Territories and the border to China. The whole city covers an area of 1,064 sq. km, with Hong Kong Island being only 78.59 sq. km.
On record, Hong Kong’s residential property market has risen relentlessly for several years from 2008 to 2013 in the wake of the global financial crisis. The property prices were reported to be skyrocketed by 134% on account of a flood of money from developed markets’ central banks. However, the market slowed sharply in the recent years. Even so, Hong Kong’s currency peg to the dollar kept borrowing costs near record lows which continues to fuel property demand.
The Peak, as its name suggest, is the highest point on Hong Kong Island. It is covered by country parks and walking trails. Most parts of it are only 10 – 15 minute drive to the business district Central. It is home to one of Hong Kong’s top tourist attractions – The Peak Tower that can be accessed by road or by the Peak Tram, a funicular railway with a terminus in Central.
The Peak has only low density housing which are all high-end. A number of modern apartments and luxury townhouses are built and held by corporate landlords recently but there are still some older colonial style blocks which offer spacious well laid-out floorplans and the majority have now been well renovated.
The most expensive sale of a Hong Kong property was a house at 22 Barker Road, on the Peak, reported by South China Morning Post in August 2015, sold to Alibaba founder Jack Ma for HK$1.5 billion.
SHOUSON HILL & DEEP WATER BAY
Shouson Hill and Deep Water Bay are two exclusive suburbs located on the south side of Hong Kong Island. These prestigious districts comprise mainly low rise apartments and houses that favoured by many owner occupiers.
With narrow windy roads, Shouson Hill offers peaceful green views and surroundings that brings extra privacy. Residential properties are mainly spacious three or five bedroom units that are perfect for families. Many comes with outdoor space of private balcony or shared garden. Some low rise apartment developments or townhouses provide communal facilities like playgrounds, green space, gyms or swimming pools.
Although there are both low and high rise apartments available in Deep Water Bay, the area consists mostly of houses with stunning ocean views and minutes of walk to Deep Water Bay beach. The members-only Hong Kong Golf Club is also located next to the beach. It was reported by Forbes in 2015 that three streets in the Deep Wat
Kowloon Tong, located in Kowloon West, is an expensive and upscale quiet residential district, popular among the wealthy and upper class of the city. The area has a number of traditional prestigious schools and is one of the most sough-after addresses in Hong Kong. It is home to many celebrities, billionaires, movie stars and company owners. Movie star Jackie Chan is known to be one of its residents for many years.
The area was developed into a well-planned and low density residential area based on the British model in the 1920s, with the majority of the properties as villas and bungalows. The area’s broad roads and streets are mostly named after counties in England. Luxurious houses in the neighbourhood can be sold for HKD 100 million.
Located in the north of Clear Water Bay Peninsula in the New Territories, Sai Kung was once a fishing village. Sai Kung town has undergone significant expansion in recent years with government’s investment to improve the town seafront. The area also spans an interesting fuse of small boutique-style shops due to an extensive expat community and booming numbers of visiting locals and tourists. The village of Sai Kung is also known as ‘Seafood Street’ for the local seafood restaurants gathering on the seafront.
In terms of housing, Sai Kung is similar to its adjacent area Clearwater Bay that also has no high-rise units. From small apartment buildings to large free-standing residences, detached village houses with terraces or garden to several townhouse complexes with facilities and swimming pool, the area is very popular among families with young children who favour the spacious residences.