Leighton Hill in Happy Valley emerged as the most expensive housing estate in a survey by research institute Zeppelin.
Zeppelin surveyed transactions at 100 popular private-housing estates in the third quarter of last year, and ranked the prices from highest to lowest based on both gross floor area and saleable area.
Gross floor area is defined as the area contained within the external walls of a building, measured at each floor together with the area of each balcony. It includes common areas such as staircases, lift shafts, lobbies and common corridors. Saleable area comprises the floor area exclusively allocated to a flat, and excludes the common areas.
Leighton Hill topped the rankings in both categories, with average prices per square foot of HK$25,778 based on gross floor area, and HK$33,714 per square foot based on saleable area, according to Zeppelin managing director Stephen Chung, an analyst and chartered surveyor.
Estates with a lower efficiency ratio (the ratio between the saleable area and the gross floor area) would have a higher price ranking in the useable-area price category than in the gross-area price category, Chung said.
By way of example, Taikoo Shing, which has a high efficiency ratio, ranked 26th in the useable-area category versus 22nd in the gross-floor-area category, whereas the low-efficiency Metro City in Tseung Kwan O ranked 47th in the useable-area category and 56th in the gross-floor-area ranking.
Chung suggested using the usable-area prices to choose flats that offered more value for money.
For example, flats in Jubilee Garden are ranked 71st for gross-floor-area price, while flats in Sheung Shui Centre are ranked 77th. This means that by this measure, the flats in Jubilee Garden are more expensive than the flats in Sheung Shui Centre.
However, the useable-area price rankings of the two estates tell a different story. Based on useable area, flats in Jubilee Garden are ranked number 72, while flats in Sheung Shui Centre are relatively more expensive in 60th place.
"Which estate is pricier now becomes quite clear, and given that Jubilee Garden is also located somewhere near Sha Tin, while the other is situated in Sheung Shui, many may see the former as being a bit of a bargain," Chung said.
By coincidence or otherwise, Chung added, most estates with a 10-place difference between their gross and useable rankings were located in Kowloon and the New Territories.