In the opinion of many Hong Kong residents, particularly parents, Kowloon Tong is truly an upper-middle class neighbourhood with reputable primary school net 41 and a wide selection of elite local and international schools in the area. But this is not the only reason the district has made a name for itself in the residential market; the area accounts for the majority of low-density townhouses and detached houses in Kowloon, with many situated around Waterloo Road, offering extremely spacious living spaces.
One look at Kowloon Tong’s street names will likely reveal people’s names, which have then been translated into Chinese from the English pronunciation, like Somerset Road, Essex Crescent and Oxford Road.
The naming dates to the city’s colonial past when British officials and merchants aimed to build British-style houses on the already leveled land of Kowloon Tong that has now become a community with low-density housing.
In general, properties in Kowloon Tong can further be classified based on area. “More sizable houses are located to the east of Waterloo Road (Waterloo East) near Oxford Road, La Salle Road and Lancashire Road have seen quite a few townhouses with areas over 5,000 square feet,” said Kennie Ng, sales manager of United Properties Limited. “The reason is that Waterloo East has a plot ratio of 1.8, whereas its western counterpart, such as York Road, Kent Road and Stafford Road, has a plot ratio of only about 0.6. The gross floor area for each lot may be smaller compared with that in Waterloo East, but it also means lower density and more prestigious given the higher per-square-foot prices. In terms of views, one may consider luxury housing above Cornwall Street, such as Mount Beacon and One Beacon Hill.”
It’s not hard to imagine that only the super rich can afford to live in Kowloon Tong; according to Ng, the rentals of some houses can start at HK$200,000 per month. Whether the MTR station is easily accessible to properties in the area seem irrelevant to the residents living there as most properties are another mini bus ride away. However, having said that, Kowloon Tong is geographically the centre point of the city, enjoying easy access to several main roads. In addition to low-density dwellings, the district also provides small- and medium-sized apartment units, which are popular choices among the middle class who are more concerned about the district’s transportation network, school net and facilities offered.
According to squarefoot.com.hk, Kowloon Tong had an average per-square-foot price of HK$17,995 in September, an 11% increase from the previous month. The upcoming development project in the area is Ayton on 18 Invermess Road. Modern residences include Eden Gate, One Mayfair and Meridian Hill, and older private estates include Beverly Villa, Lannox Gardens and Sunderland Estate. It’s worth noting that the string of elite schools in Kowloon Tong has brought in buyers and renters from different areas of Hong Kong. Thus, homeowners in the district are generally optimistic about the market’s prospects and are usually in no rush to sell their homes, giving them a big advantage in their investment.
Selected residential developments
Located at 18 Inverness Road, this project is developed by Easyknit Group, providing 60 units ranging from one- to four-bedroom apartments, with saleable areas measuring 300 to 1,500 square feet, along with featured units. It has a clubhouse with gym and banquet room, among other amenities. Residential intake is expected to begin in the second half of next year.
Mount Beacon is located at 20 Cornwall Street, co-developed by Sino Land, Manhattan Garments and Chinese Estates and was completed in 2006. It consists of 197 apartment units and 22 house blocks, with saleable areas measuring 839 to 3,158 square feet, boasting Victoria Harbour and Kowloon Peninsula views. A middle-level B unit in Block 2, with a saleable area of 1,169 square feet, was recently leased out at HK$50,000 per month or HK$43 per square foot.
This estate is situated at 1 Hereford Road, chiefly developed by Hang Lung Properties and completed in 1983. It consists of 116 townhouse blocks and five apartment blocks, each three-storeys high. Sunderland Estate has mainly three- and four-bedrooms, with a high effective rate of 90% above. The townhouse in Block 27, with a saleable area of 2,375 square feet, was recently sold for HK$60 million or HK$25,263 per square foot.
Things to know before moving into Kowloon Tong
- Private clubhouses
Kowloon Tong has two private clubhouses, namely Kowloon Tong Club on Waterloo Road and Kowloon Tsai Home Owners Association on Cambridge Road, serving to fill the needs of those living in the district’s older developments that do not provide residents’ facilities.
- School net
The district belongs to primary school net 41, which includes Diocesan Preparatory School, La Salle Primary School, Kowloon Tong Government Primary School, Maryknoll Convent School (Primary Section) and CCC Kei Wa Primary School (Kowloon Tong). The secondary school net belongs to the Kowloon City District, with Diocesan Boys’ School, Wa Ying College, Kowloon True Light School, Holy Family Canossian College and Munsang College (private school). The area has notable kindergartens such as Kentville Kindergarten, St. Catherine’s International Kindergarten and Kingston International Kindergarten. Kowloon Tong is also home to several international schools such as Yew Chung International School, Australian International School and American International School.