Hong Kong's railways have had a profound effect on the city's evolution into a modern metropolis. Wherever the rail lines go, population begins to shift and railway-related properties are especially sought after by homebuyers as they are usually backed by integrated planning and design.
According to Ricacorp Properties, of the 87 private housing projects and 25,000 units for sale this year, five are partnerships with the MTR, which account for about 7,136 units, or 28 per cent of the total.
'The supply of railway-linked homes will be mainly located in the western part of the New Territories,' says Thomas Lam, head of research for Greater China at Knight Frank.
By Tai Wai station, Cheung Kong has sold more than 4,000 Festival City units, with average selling price at about HK$8.5 million per unit. Phase 3 is due on the market, with 1,536 flats measuring 884 to 1,264 sqft.
'Nearly 90 per cent of the buyers are Hong Kong people, with the remainder being mainlanders,' William Kwok Chi-wai, director of Cheung Kong Real Estate, says. 'More than 80 per cent of the buyers are end-users while investors account for about 15 per cent.'
A new project by New World Development on top of Che Kung Temple Station will provide 981 units in four towers, which will provide four-bedroom apartments of more than 1,000 sqft. The project is centrally located in Sha Tin, with a spectacular view of Shing Mun River and Sha Tin Central Park,' says Melvin Yeo, director of sales and marketing at New World Development.
In Fo Tan, the price at the Palazzo by Sino Land for four-bedroom apartments with a view of the racecourse is HK$10,000 to 15,000 per sqft.
Another new project is Double Cove in Lok Wo Sha, jointly developed by New World and Henderson Land Development. Located near Wu Kai Sha station, the project is one of the largest along the Ma On Shan line, and will provide 4,000 units.
In Tseung Kwan O, The Wings by Sin Hung Kai Properties has sold over 900 units, or over 90 per cent of units . A stylish shopping mall, Popcorn, has just opened, with trendy shops such as log-on and agnes b.
Meanwhile, the third phase of LOHAS Park by Cheung Kong is expected to be launched this year, with 800 units.
Along the West Rail line, a major new project is the 2,000 unit Century Gateway, by Sun Hung Kai Properties, which is on top of Tuen Mun station, The first phase is expected to be marketed this year.
'Century Gateway has attracted a large number of interested buyers [who] include cross-border merchants and local user-buyers,' says Victor Lui, Sun Hung Kai Real Estate Agency executive director.