Lifestyle

Hong Kong Island's backyard paradise - Stanley

Stanley

Imagine living a life as if you are on vacation, spending your days in a stunning natural environment, with sea views during the day and starry skies at night. In your spare time, taking long walks on the beach and enjoying good food and drinks at a seaside restaurant. Is it a lifestyle that attracts you? Despite being a densely populated city, Hong Kong also offers natural beauty and slow living. 

Stanley, located in the south of Hong Kong Island with its beautiful landscape, high-quality living and string of good schools, is known for its tourist spots as well as the international community that live in the area.

The scenic, laid back Stanley emits a holiday vibe. Properties in the area were developed with their surroundings in mind, and are often large standalone houses, or low-density luxury homes. Affected by the cooling measures, however, real estate sales have seen a steady decrease in recent years. Andy Wong, manager of Stanley Home Property Agency Limited, comments, “Luxury houses, standalone walk-ups and housing estates are the three main property types in Stanley. Sales are mostly driven by luxury houses, which are typically sold for over HK$10 million. But large saleable areas also mean high prices, and since the government tightened mortgage policies, the maximum mortgage rate limit dropped to 50%. Adding on the heavy levy, property transactions in Stanley plummeted.” He tells us that only six property transactions took place in the private luxury flats market in the area so far this year.

>> More on Stanley: The splendours of Stanley

However, the rental market in Stanley has been active, with most renters being families and expats. “Stanley has no shortage of great international schools, and many parents choose to move into the neighbourhood for their children’s education. This has fostered a steady demand for rentals and explains why there are a number of rent-only developments here including Three Bays by Sino Group and Stanley Knoll by Chinachem Group,” Wong explains. “In the meantime, Stanley has a long-established international community, particularly in the Stanley Street area. A large number of foreign or mainland teachers working in Hong Kong choose to live in 300 square foot one-bedroom apartments in walk-ups by the Stanley Market because that’s where their friends are. This creates a chain effect that attracts more expats to come and live here.”

It’s worth noting that the opening of the MTR South Island Line line has indirectly improved Stanley's public transport conditions. “Many residents are now taking the bus or minibus to the Ocean Park station, then switching to the MTR. It helps them avoid possible congestion in the Aberdeen tunnel and better manage their schedules,” Wong says. He adds that he himself has tried leaving Stanley and taking the MTR from the Ocean Park station to the Tsim Sha Tsui station, and the commute only took roughly half an hour.

Selected properties:

Stanford Villa

Located on 7 Stanley Village Road, Stanford Villa was completed in 1995 and comprises of six three-storey blocks. Each floor houses four units, and the whole development offers a total of 72 units as well as a clubhouse and a pool. Wong shares that the two unit types are the 624-square-foot two-bedroom flat and the 855-square-foot three-bedroom, with monthly rent ranging from HK$38,000 to HK$48,000.

Lung Tak Court

Lung Tak Court entered the market in 2000 and is located on 52 Cape Road in Ma Hang. It has four buildings and a total of 984 units, with saleable areas between 214 and 640 square feet. Unit types range from studio to three-bedroom apartments. Wong tells us that in the subsidised housing market, Lung Tak Court, along with its sister housing estate Lung Yan Court, have had eight sales so far this year.

Regalia Bay

Built in 2004, Regalia Bay is on 88 Wong Ma Kok Road. Its 139 five-bedroom condos each comes with a garden, parking space and a balcony, with saleable areas from 2,800 to 3,300 square feet. According to Wong, the price for these condos start at HK$70million, and the rent starts at HK$130,000.


Regalia Bay

Things to know before moving into Sha Tin:

Lack of wet markets

There are only large supermarkets in Stanley. Wong points out that the nearest wet markets are in Aberdeen and Shau Kei Wan.

Big rent difference

Wong cautions that standalone buildings alongside Stanley Street have an average age of 40 years, and their units can have a huge difference depending on the view and the condition of the interior. He adds that odd-numbered units have more access to sea views, hence the higher rent, while for many even-numbered units, the view is blocked, making them less desirable. The rent for one-bedroom units is normally around HK$12,000-13,000, and for two-bedroom units HK$16,000-17,000.

School net

The district belongs to primary school net 18, which includes the Hong Kong Southern District Government Primary School, St. Stephen's College Preparatory School, and the Twghs Hok Shan School. Its secondary school net belongs to the Southern District, with schools such as St. Peter's Secondary School, Hong Kong True Light College, Sacred Heart Canossian College, and St. Stephen's College. International schools in the district are the Hong Kong International School and the International Montessori


IMS

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