Q: I am an expat who is currently renting an apartment in North Point. But the lease will expire soon and I am planning to move to Wan Chai which is more vibrant. With a budget of less than HK$20,000 a month, what are the options on the market if I want to look for a one-bedroom flat?
A: You can consider Southorn Garden in Wan Chai, where 670 sq ft apartments (or about 517 sq ft based on saleable area) were leased for between HK$17,000 and HK$19,000 per month recently. Opposite it is a single block building at 112 Johnston Road, which offers flats with a monthly rent from HK$11,000. If you prefer quieter areas, you can look for flats in Lockhart Road and Jaffe Road, and the rent there should be around HK$15,000.
Otherwise, you can find some options in Causeway Bay. There are some smaller units at Pearl City Mansion in Paterson Street. A 369 sq ft unit (or 287 sq ft based on saleable area) was leased for HK$11,800 per month in January.
But if you want newer properties in Wan Chai district, the rent will be at least HK$25,000 per month.
Patrick Chow Moon-kit is the head of research at Ricacorp Properties
Q: I'm interested in buying a flat on a 40-year-old housing estate. However, the asking price of the flat is HK$1 million more than the banks' valuations. Is it common in the market? Should I buy the flat?
A: It is possible that the asking price may be different from banks' valuation but if the difference is huge, it may imply that the seller is asking for a price which is too high. On the other hand, sometimes certain banks may be a bit reserved in valuation, so I'd advise you to consult two to three more banks if you have not done so.
If all banks' valuations are still HK$800,000 or HK$900,000 lower than the asking price, you may have difficulties in funding the property unless you have a lot of capital on hand. You should also think if the property is too expensive before you buy it.
Jeffrey Ng Chong-yip is the senior executive director of Hong Kong Property Services
Q: I planned to buy a flat in Tai Wai with a budget of up to HK$4 million for my own use. I've visited a few flats recently, but they were too old. Is there a better choice?
A: Festival City is the only new housing estate in Tai Wai. But the size of the smallest flat is 900 sq ft. It would be out of your budget.
You can consider buying a flat at Holford Garden, a Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) estate, or Golden Lion Estate, a private housing estate. Property prices of Holford Garden ranged between HK$7,000 and HK$8,000 per sq ft. You can buy a 600 sq ft flat at an HOS estate with your budget or buy a 500 sq ft flat on a private housing estate.
Sammy Po is a director at Midland Realty