As housing prices continue to soar and supply remains short, small- and medium-sized units have dominated new residential developments, both public and private, in recent years. It is a mind-blogging phenomenon that 200-square-foot flats have become the new norm, and a handful of new developments are selling these micro units at over HK$30,000 per square foot, continually breaking new records.
While couples may be able to live in these nano flats, they are certainly not for families with children. However, for young professionals and singles working in and around the central business area, a large living space isn’t their top priority. This particular demographic of buyers value living quality; having a home that’s close to the business district with well-developed facilities and leisure outlets possess a greater appeal to them. That explains why new developments in Sai Ying Pun have been seeing many record-breaking sales.
On top of Sai Ying Pun’s proximity to the Western Harbour Tunnel, thanks to the westward extension of the Island Line, it is now only two stops away from Central on the train. Sai Ying Pun’s connectivity to the rest of Hong Kong is a great selling point for properties in this area. In addition, old walk-ups are being torn down and replaced by standalone high-rises, while an array of modern restaurants and bars frequently spring up in the area. Meanwhile, residents can still find a lot of mom-and-pop shops that sell local groceries that preserve the characteristics of this old neighbourhood, making Sai Ying Pun an ideal place to live. It’s hard to deny that new residential buildings have largely altered the appearance of Sai Ying Pun, however, some developers have attempted to give their projects retro designs to help them better blend in with their surroundings.
Apart from working professionals, Sai Ying Pun has also attracted many expats to move into the area, resulting in a robust rental market and sprouting a huge interest from investors. “The new MTR station has boosted home and rental prices in the area, as properties are very well received by renters and buyers alike,” explains Jenny Yeung from Kin Kei Property Agency. The sales volume of Sai Ying Pun homes are reflective of their investment value; take 63 Pokfulam by Kowloon Development as an example. A unit with a saleable area of 209 square feet was recently sold at HK$8.09 million, or HK$38,713 per square feet, setting a new record for studio apartment prices. “Judging by recent trends, first-time home buyers are looking for units at the HK$6 million price point. The past months have seen large numbers of sales, and vacant units for sale remain very scarce.”
Located on 180 Connaught Road West in Shek Tong Tsui, this standalone building was developed by Emperor International Holdings and completed in the third quarter of 2015. It offers 125 units ranging from 524 to 3,518 square feet. A duplex unit on the 38th and 39th floor, with a saleable area of 3,518 square feet and two parking spaces, was recently sold by tender at HK$203.8 million, or HK$57,931 per square foot, setting a new record for this development.
This standalone high-rise sitting on Sai Yuen Lane was developed by New World Development Company and has 250 units, most of which are small flats. The high-rise contains 144 studio apartments with saleable areas between 213 and 227 square feet, as well as one-bedroom, two-bedroom and special units. Unit 16E of Artisan House, with a saleable area of 221 square feet, was recently sold at HK$6.667 million or HK$30,167 per square foot.
This Sun Hung Kai development is situated on 38 Western Street and offers 166 units, 133 of which are one-bedroom flats with saleable areas between 314 and 389 square feet. Two-bedroom units range from 410 to 540 square feet and the three top-floor units measure at 607 to 955 square feet.