Exclusive living

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 April, 2008, 12:00am

Rising number of foreigners leads to big demand for luxury villas in northern Beijing

Long the scourge of the central government for their excessive land usage and for being beyond the means of the average Chinese, luxury villas continue to thrive in Beijing's northern reaches, and are in demand with the rising influx of foreigners.

Chris Yeung, Savills Property Service Beijing's associate director, says the luxury market has been picking up compared to the first half of last year as potential buyers have digested the market policies, the market situation has been resolved internally and they can overcome hurdles.

'No matter what the situation, if people want to buy, they buy,' Mr Yeung says. 'Villas have been welcomed by the market and are a hot play. Even if there was double the existing catalogue, it would still be digested by the market. There is not enough.'

Mr Yeung says foreigners, or international visitors as they are being called in this Olympic era, favour such areas as the Central Villa District near the Capital Airport, and the Changping, Shunyi and Lido areas for their quality projects and proximity to international schools.

'Those visitors are steadily growing. Many companies are trying to localise, but other companies continue to come in. This keeps up the villa demand. In the villa area the price is touching 30,000 yuan [HK$33,425] a square metre. A year ago it was 30per cent less, depending on the compound. But the supply coming on stream is limited.'

What is coming on the market is opulent. Majestic Mansion, in the northwest Haidan district, is on the North No5 Ring Road in the Summer Palace area. It features 600 three-storey Baroque-style units. The units range from 400 to 680 square metres and cost an average of 46,000 yuan per square metre. The first phase of 67 units sold out and a second phase of 150 units will be launched in September. The decorated units will be ready for occupancy by the end of next year.

Eastern Provence Flora Bay in Changping district, north of the Olympic venue, features 500 units starting at 25,000 yuan a square metre to an average of 40,000 yuan a square metre. While most of the units designed in a rustic French style are 400 square metres and selling for 15million yuan, a 1,500-square-metre unit sold for 70 million yuan. The developer is now considering a 2,000-square-metre unit for the property.

Also on a grand scale is Shadow Creek, a 400-villa project being created by jewellery chain Chow Tai Fook Group, a private arm of New World Development.

Borrowing its name from the ultra-exclusive Las Vegas golf resort, the first phase features 87 units along the right bank of the Wenyu River of which only two are left.

Residents have been moving into the Shunyi district project since February. The 76,000-square-metre project, of which the second phase is under development, features European-style gardens, private swimming pools, 11-metre-high ceilings and hot spring water, among other attractions.