Property prices in the secondary market have never been higher according to the Centa-City Leading Index (CCL); residential units under $3 million are rare. The net result of this phenomenon is many first home buyers moving into the New Territories in search of better value. It is no wonder that Yuen Long has emerged as one of the most popular destinations in recent years.

New residential supply in Yuen Long is abundant. Among Hong Kong’s 18 districts, only Yuen Long and Tseung Kwan O will have an annual supply of over 1,000 units over each of the next three years. New World Development, one of the biggest developers in the district, has started pre-sales on its three residential projects: The Woodsville, Park Signature and The Woodside, as well as a co-developed project, The Reach (with Henderson Land Development). Riva and Residence 88 by Sun Hung Kai Properties and Uptown by Cheung Kong Holdings are alternative options in the neighbourhood.

The Woodsville and The Woodside are low-rise blocks providing both flats and villas. Park Signature is larger in scale, with a total of 1,620 flats ranging from one- to four-bedroom units. The Reach is popular with the newlyweds as it offers small to medium-sized flats. Located between Yuen Long and Kam Sheung Road West Rail stations and graced with picturesque views, Riva consists of 25 low-rise blocks and 48 riverfront villas. Residence 88 is a new branded residence, while the Uptown boasts a convenient transport network.

With developers offering attractive prices and incentives, the secondary residential sector has been overshadowed by the primary one, but it remains resilient in prices, as in the case of Yoho Phase 1 and 2 by SHKP. The upcoming launch of Phase 3 is expected to provide 2,500 units along with shopping connecting New Yuen Long Centre and Yoho Midtown to form retail clusters. One Regent Place is another relatively new residence with different unit layouts, but its management fee is one of the highest in the area. If you prefer to move away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Palm Springs and Fairview Park offer spacious villas with separate gardens.

Attractive pricing aside, Yuen Long strikes a nearly ideal balance between urban and rural, and most conveniences are within easy reach. But there’s also a downside. With more and more people moving in and with surface transit reorganising in the area, questions are being raised about the railway network’s capacity to serve residents. Hung Hom-bound trains at peak hours regularly have over-crowded compartments long before they pull into Yuen Long, as trains pass densely populated Tuen Mun and Tin Shui Wai stations first.

With numerous key development projects in the northern New Territories, Yuen Long is primed for a drastic makeover. In terms of long term housing strategy, three major new development areas near Yuen Long are slated to provide a total of 130,000 residential units after the year 2020, including 26,000 units in Yuen Long South, 34,000 units in Kam Tin South and Pat Heung and 60,000 units in Hung Shui Kiu. Though scarce supply is usually the backbone of a property market, high demand in Hong Kong and strong supply in Yuen Long are likely to give the area new and vigorous life in the near future.

Date: 2014-08-15