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Weekend Property

Demand for serviced homes in Hong Kong’s Eastern district surges as offices decentralise

More multinational companies and big corporations are relocating from Central to Island East, Quarry Bay and Taikoo Shing, creating a surge in demand for quality serviced accommodation in those areas

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 February, 2017, 9:06am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 February, 2017, 1:41pm

Eastern District is a market on the move. A location once perceived as decentralised is now attractive to companies seeking bigger offices and more favourable leasing arrangements, sparking demand for quality accommodation nearby.

According to real estate services firm JLL, Taikoo Place and the wider Quarry Bay area is now home to more than 300 multinational companies, including many Fortune 500 corporations, alongside a growing number of new start-up businesses. The district also offers a quality range of shopping, dining and leisure facilities, coupled with value for money and good transport links.

The firm last year assisted BLP, the first international legal firm to move from Central, securing a six-year lease with Swire Properties for 15,000 sq ft in Dorset House, Taikoo Place. JLL has since assisted another legal firm with a move to Quarry Bay, and says that “dozens more have expressed an interest in the area”.

“Further redevelopment of the area is expected to be completed in 2018/20, and this has already started to attract the interest of front office investment banks and other financial institutions looking for real estate solutions outside of Central,” says Andrew Yates, JLL’s head of tenant representation, Hong Kong markets. “In time, further relocations will see Hong Kong East become a professional services hub.”

Data from the Land Registry and local real estate agents show a sharp rise in both sales volume and prices achieved for residential property in the area – a trend evident since last year, and driven by buy-to-let investors.

Ingrid Cheh, senior manager of research department at JLL, says demand for accommodation is also spinning off to the serviced apartment market.

“The financial services and legal sector has traditionally been a key source of demand for serviced apartments, given their emphasis on global mobility and temporary and flexible housing requirements, especially among expats,” Cheh says.

“The ongoing office tenant decentralisation trend to Hong Kong East is therefore expected to spur demand for quality accommodation in the Island East, Quarry Bay, Taikoo Shing, with ease of accessibility and convenience being a key consideration for the employees.”

The ongoing office tenant decentralisation trend to Hong Kong East is ... expected to spur demand for quality accommodation in the [district]
Ingrid Cheh, senior manager of research department, JLL

Right at the heart of the action is Taikoo Place Apartments, a 28-storey tower which comprises 111 studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and penthouse suites furnished in modern contemporary style.

The building is owned by Swire Properties, the company proceeding with a HK$15 billion redevelopment of Taikoo Place which will see the addition of two 1 million sq ft grade-A office towers as well as approximately 200,000 sq ft of public open space. The first office tower, One Taikoo Place, is expected to be completed in 2018, followed by Two Taikoo Place in 2021.

According to Swire, Taikoo Place Apartments forms part of an integrated community where residents can meet, share ideas, and have the chance to enjoy work-life balance. On-site amenities include a clubhouse with a modern gym, two spas, a living room, refreshment bar and a reading area that also services as a business centre, and a landscaped terrace.

In Quarry Bay, a range of five-star serviced suites are incorporated within Harbour Grand Hong Kong, a luxury waterfront property managed by Harbour Plaza Hotels & Resorts. Many have panoramic harbour views – some rooms even have a private patio with heated Jacuzzi.

The property’s business centre offers the usual facilities as well as secretarial services, a convenient work-from-home option. It also has an outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, children’s pool and fitness centre.

Residents staying on the Harbour Club floors enjoy a further range of benefits, including use of the boardroom.

For those who need space for a family, Kornhill Apartments has serviced suites of up to three bedrooms and 1,100 sq ft in total. Two-bedroom, one-bedroom and studio units are also available, starting from 400 sq ft.

Managed by Hang Lung Properties, the building includes a gym, indoor pool, multiple sporting courts, table tennis area, sauna/steam/Jacuzzi and provision for car parking. It’s located above Taikoo MTR station for optimal rail network connectivity.