THE Hongkong property market is stirring again thanks to improvements in airport and political talks, statistics show. The latest Brooke Hillier Parker (BHP) property report reveals the overall market has climbed about eight per cent since the end of March. And, according to a recent Richard Ellis report, landlords are becoming noticeably less flexible over lease terms, as a recent shortage of good-quality premises has caused the market to really heat up. ''While tenants could expect to receive favourable rent-free periods and other concessions one year ago, some landlords now can afford not to negotiate over terms,'' said Jan McNally, managing director of Richard Ellis. Although property consultants are divided as to where tomorrow's hot-spots may be, most agree that diving in now could be a wise investment choice. David Faulkner, a partner at BHP, said there were several trends which highlighted the market's key buys. Analysing the potential hot-spots with regard to all types of local investors, Mr Faulkner said: ''I would put my money on Taikoo Shing, Kornhill, Whampoa Gardens, South Horizons and Sha Tin.'' So, beginning with Taikoo Shing, what makes this a ''hot'' property spot and who are the buyers? An extremely popular development, Taikoo Shing is expected to continue attracting young, executive-type couples, earning a relatively good salary. ''Taikoo Shing's popularity will continue to hold steady. It is an attractive development which offers very good facilities along with lower rents,'' Mr Faulkner said. He said it was a diversified development, attracting local investors, Europeans and Americans, adding that its future looked promising as it had an increasingly strong rental market. But despite its strong rental market, Mr Faulkner said the development was not geared towards speculation, saying there was at least a 90 per cent owner-occupancy rate. The Japanese, who often prefer smaller units, are regulars at Taikoo Shing. ''In addition to Taikoo Shing, Quarry Bay and North Point are two other key-spots for Hongkong's Japanese, mostly because of easy access to North Point's Japanese school,'' he said. He said many of the characteristics making Taikoo attractive also held true for Kornhill. ''It's really right next door to Taikoo Shing, and offers many of the same amenities. It's just newer, and thus attracts young couples or small families wanting a more modern flat,'' he said. Regarding small families with very young children, Mr Faulkner pointed towards the South Side. ''Robinson Place and Hillsborough Court are also two of the hotter spots,'' he said. Units at Robinson Place are usually around 1,300 square feet and Hillsborough Court units run about 1,000 sq ft, satisfying the developing trend towards small, luxurious flats with good locations. The next stop on the hot-spot chart is Whampoa Gardens, which caters less to expatriates and more to younger local couples with small families. ''Being on Kowloon side, this development has not attracted as many investors and consequently does not have a rental market. But it is very popular among Hongkong locals and looks promising for the future,'' he said. Further down the list we find South Horizons. Described as a ''new development coming into its own'', South Horizons provides an attractive investment geared towards both the expatriate and local community. ''This could be described as a hot-spot for expats who want a good investment for their money, and because it is one of the more affordable developments with easy urban access, it makes a smart investment for locals,'' he said. Mr Faulkner added that upon completion - within a couple years - South Horizons, in Aberdeen, should be a ''very attractive development indeed''. And last but not least on the hot-spots list is Sha Tin. ''If you're wondering whether or not Sha Tin is really a hot-spot, take a look at the results of Tuesday's land auction - they speak for themselves,'' he said. The auction saw a record price of $5,077 per square foot paid for a residential lot, and prices for finished units on the site are expected to exceed well over $7,000 per square foot. Mr Faulkner said it was encouraging that Sha Tin prices were equal to prices quoted on the island. ''What's more, Sha Tin provides a good range of property prices. You can find a beautiful $10 million home or a smaller $2 million flat. But Mr Faulkner did admit that property ''hot-spots'' are influenced by other external factors, including school location and nationality. ''You can say that different nationalities tend to group together in particular areas,'' he said. For example, Mr Faulkner said the British community looked towards Clear Water Bay and Sai Kung for its hot-spots. With many British schools in Hongkong, British expats are among the few that don't limit their property selections to particular school districts. French and Swiss Germans, on the other hand, tend to hunt out hot-spots in the Mid-Levels area as the French/Swiss German International Schools are located there. Other hot-spots, catering to American and general European needs, are on the south side and Mid-Levels respectively.