New school boosts lure of Chianti duplexes from HKR

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 September, 2007, 12:00am

Luxury Discovery Bay development fetching record prices

Discovery Bay developer HKR International will pitch the release of the remaining 20 duplexes in its Chianti Block 3 development at wealthy couples with school-going children.

The company also hopes the development's first secondary school will add to the attractions of a 2,000 square foot-plus duplex with a 1,000 sqft garden terrace and a jacuzzi. The school opens next year and is within walking distance of the duplexes.

Chianti, first launched in 2005, ultimately will provide 530 units ranging in size from 663 to 2,382 sqft.

According to the developer, 50 per cent of the units have sold at an average of HK$5,500 per square foot. In November 2005, HKR said two Spa Residence duplex units in Blocks 2 and 6 were sold for HK$12,020 per square foot, a record in Discovery Bay.

Recently, it said three duplexes, two with views of Disneyland and the sea and one with a view of Central Park, received offers up to HK$8,350 per square foot or HK$18 million each. The development has been completed and buyers are about to move in.

HKR said it hoped the remaining duplexes would achieve indicative prices ranging from HK$11,000 to HK$12,000 per square foot. That would work out to about HK$22 million to HK$27 million.

Tony Poon Hing-leung, a senior manager at Midland Realty's Discovery Bay branch, said the prices of the Chianti duplex units should be compared with prevailing prices of houses in Discovery Bay.

Mr Poon said houses at Cresmont Villa sold at HK$7,000 per square foot and at those nearby Seabee Lane for HK$9,000 per square foot. The size of these houses ranged from 1,300 to 1,600 sq ft each.

Buyers looking for 2,000 sqft plus a garden would pay at least HK$21 million at Headline Drive, he said.

'But these developments are more than 10 years old. Buyers will need to spend a million dollars to redecorate. Buyers therefore will be lured to the new development,' Mr Poon said.

Simon Lee Wai-ling, a senior manager at Centaline Property Agency's Discovery Bay branch, said expatriates had accounted for about 10 to 15 per cent of home viewers since the developer opened show flats for private viewing.

'The new international school will lure those residents who used to live in Discovery Bay but were forced to move to Hong Kong Island in order to pursue secondary education for their children. As the school will open for application early next year, many of my clients have started to look for a flat at Chianti,' Mr Lee said.

For investors, he said transaction rents at Chianti were HK$23 to HK$25 per square foot for units with a sea view and HK$18 per square foot for flats with mountain views.

Mr Poon said residential rents at Discovery Bay had risen by up to 15 per cent because of the proposed opening of the school.

For those who are looking for smaller-sized units, HKR says this Saturday it will release 12 standard units at an average of HK$5,018 per square foot. The units are on the 10th and 11th floors, with areas of between 672 and 1,298 sqft.

Chan Chi-ming, HKR's general manager for development and marketing, said the developer hoped to sell 180 units by the end of the year, while the remaining 100 units would be launched next year. In the first batch, six units will have sea views while the other six units have views of the mountain and park.

Mr Chan said HKR would earn gross revenues of about HK$1.7 billion once all 280 units in the development had been sold.

However, one drawback of the Chianti development is that buyers of units on lower floors will have their views blocked by a low-rise development.

A spokeswoman at HKR said the site, earmarked for low-rise garden house development, would be completed by 2010.

For better views, Mr Lee suggested buyers choose flats above the 7th and 8th floors.