Often called Disco Bay or simply DB, residents of Discovery Bay describe living in Hong Kong's largest resort-style residential area as a vibrant community within a community. They say the mix of residential properties, open areas and recreational amenities allow the community to integrate and form friendly relationships.
Consisting of development phases with properties ranging from garden houses to apartments in high-rise towers of up to 29 storeys, Discovery Bay even has its own internet forum, providing a conduit for organising social events, workshops and networking activities.
Residents say because of the forum, people have been able to change jobs, rent exclusive holiday apartments in exotic locations and spark relationships that have led to marriage.
Melanie Krepp, real estate consultant with Sotheby's International Realty (Hong Kong), believes Discovery Bay is ideal for families who enjoy taking part in a wide range of activities. 'Having no vehicles in Discovery Bay is also great for your health because of less pollution. There is also the encouragement to exercise by visiting shops by bike or walking,' Krepp says.
She says the focal point of business and social activity is centred around the Plaza, a commercial hub featuring a bus terminus, ferry pier and an open piazza.
The Plaza also has a range of shops, including a supermarket, speciality stores, clinics, and a vet to serve the large population of pet owners.
While there are no private vehicles allowed in Discovery Bay, about 500 golf carts and some 60 other vehicles (buses, light buses, hire cars and goods vehicles) operate on the private roads. Ferries between Discovery Bay and Central, which takes about 25 minutes, operate 24 hours a day.
'The airport bus operates on a 30-minute schedule, so Discovery Bay is a convenient place for those who travel frequently,' Krepp says.
Discovery Bay has a number of resident-run activities, including Lantau Boat Club (a catamaran and outrigger canoe club), Discovery Bay Pirates Rugby Club and numerous art, craft and lifestyle choices such as yoga and dance.
Inspired by the 'Amalfi Coast', a resort area in southern Italy, Hong Kong Resort Company's (HKR) latest high-end residential development, Phase 14, has been officially named 'Amalfi'.
Chan Chi-ming, HKR's head of Hong Kong's business unit, says Amalfi's modern and stylish outlook, comprising 164 luxury units divided into three blocks of 16 storeys, an abundance of space and a high ratio of greenery make it a rare project. HKR expect sales to begin in June or July.
Roenel Turner, of Lifestyle Homes, says that while the price of houses and beachfront low-rise apartments have reached an all-time high in Discovery Bay, they have yet to reach the same level as similar-sized properties on Hong Kong Island.
'The low interest rates are driving the market, but we have noticed that mortgage restrictions and new guidelines are slowing the higher-end sales market,' Turner says.
She says a typical, low-rise 1,570 sqft house sells for HK$12.5 million, while a slightly larger 1,642 sqft house is priced at HK$18 million, and a 3,100 sqft house can fetch about HK$38 million.
A 1,703 sqft, three-bedroom house in Seahorse Lane would command about HK$14.5 million to buy or HK$85,000 per month to rent, while a 2,099 sqft, three-bedroom house in Headland Village commands an asking price of about HK$38 million, and rents for about HK$138,000 per month.