Your dollars will buy more space at Baguio Villa

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 January, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 January, 2010, 12:00am

'Don't judge a book by its cover' is the golden phrase to remember when judging people.

This phrase is equally important when buying apartments.

The size of a residential area printed in a brochure may not match what you actually get because the number of square feet may include the stairwell or other infrastructure stuck next to your future home.

Before you get ready to buy an apartment, make sure you ask your agent to state the actual living space.

Jimmy Kwok, branch manager of Midland Realty, says most new properties will have only about 80 per cent of the living space stated in advertisements, whereas properties of more than 20 years will have a higher percentage of actual living space.

An apartment for sale at Baguio Villa, Pok Fu Lam, presents few such problems. Baguio Villa is well known for its accuracy of actual living space compared with claims made in brochures and advertisements.

'The actual living space [of the apartment on sale] is about 90 per cent of what is stated in the advertisements and this is considered high,' Kwok says.

The 1,020 sqft apartment is on the market for HK$8.6 million, which rounds up to about HK$8,400 per square foot.

It has two bedrooms, one including an en suite bathroom and a mountain view.

There are 33 blocks of apartments on the estate containing three types of apartments, starting from 1,020 sqft, with two to four bedrooms. Views from the apartments vary from a mountain view to a partial sea view.

Residents are able to enjoy facilities including tennis courts and a swimming pool.

The apartment on sale has been on the market for three months. Although its price is low compared with neighbouring newer properties, such as Bel-Air, that are about HK$12,000 per square foot, Kwok still thinks the asking price is a bit over the top.

'Pok Fu Lam is a traditional luxury housing area and the average price for apartments without a sea view ranges from about HK$7,600 to HK$8,000 per square foot,' he says.

A 1,304 sqft apartment at Bisney Terrace, Pok Fu Lam, with a sea view was sold for HK$11.5 million last month.

As Pok Fu Lam is an area containing mostly end-users, property prices do not fluctuate much, even during an economic downturn.

'During the economic crisis, the price of apartments at Baguio Villa only dropped by 3 to 5 per cent,' Kwok says.