EASY access

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 May, 2012, 12:00am


Mid-Levels is well known for being a jungle of ageing skyscrapers, but its excellent access to the central business district means its attraction remains unrivalled.

No big price differences exist between properties built a few years ago and new completions. For example, a 1,342 sqft property at 31 Robinson Road, completed five years ago, was priced at HK$22.2 million, or HK$16,542 per square foot, in a recent deal.

Prices for some older but sought-after buildings, such as Tregunter, are similar to those for new homes in the neighbourhood.

Midland Realty director Patrick Fung says home prices and sales began to soften in the second half of last year on worries of a global economic slowdown.

However, sales and prices have rebounded strongly this year, driven by pent-up demand. In the first quarter, 805 residential properties were traded across Mid-Levels, up 42 per cent, quarter on quarter.

'Rental levels for new homes in central and western Mid-Levels range from HK$45 to HK$80 per square foot, while rental rates for popular properties regardless of age range from HK$35 to HK$50 per square foot,' Fung says.

According to Selina Chong, sales manager at Century 21 Upgrade Property Agency, popular housing developments in central and western Mid-Levels include Dynasty Court, Hillsborough Court and Robinson Place.

'As these developments are relatively young and provide comprehensive facilities, they remain competitive on the market, and so are their prices,' Chong says.

The average price for apartments at the 20-year old Dynasty Court is close to HK$20,000 per square foot. For example, a 1,970 sqft apartment recently sold for HK$38.5 million, or HK$19,543 per square foot. Earlier last year, another apartment measuring 2,680 sqft fetched HK$29,104 per square foot.

In the lettings market, at least four rental transactions were recorded at Dynasty Court in April.

Among them, a 1,970 sqft flat was rented out for HK$84,000 a month, or about HK$43 per square foot. A 2,680 sqft home was leased for HK$168,000 per month, or HK$63 per square foot.

Eric Hui, director at Anson Realty, says expatriates are particularly attracted to western Mid-Levels because of its excellent connectivity to Central.

Buy-to-let investors are also benefiting from a very active letting market.

On average, 120-150 rental transactions are registered each month in western Mid-Levels. Monthly rental rates for Robinson Place have reached HK$36 to HK$40 per square foot, very close to rental levels for new luxury homes.