Development sets a benchmark in Mid-Levels and should be fully let next year BRANKSOME CREST, Kerry Properties' new residential tower, is setting a benchmark in top-end luxury developments in Mid-Levels. Boasting first-class quality and services, the apartments are leasing at an average monthly rental of more than $40 per square foot, in some cases more than $50. The landlord considers the rent, at the top end of the market range, reasonable because of the project's quality and the shortage of similar properties. On exclusive Tregunter Path, Branksome Crest has 64 spacious apartments - 60 standard units at 2,355 to 2,720 sqft, a 4,600 sqft simplex, two garden duplex units of 4,890 sqft and a 7,088 sqft penthouse. Except for the simplex, which was sold to an individual buyer, Kerry Properties will keep the project for lease as a long-term investment. Subsidiary Kerry Real Estate Agency senior marketing manager Lily Choi said the leasing response had been positive and about 20 units had been taken up. 'There is a lack of such quality products on the market. People were looking forward to the release of this property for quite some time so it is now the focus of the area.' Tenants include financial institutions, technology firms, manufacturing businesses, law firms and consumer product companies, which lease the apartments as residences for their chief executives. Ms Choi said the landlord might consider offering furniture packages to tenants. Despite the encouraging response, the group had no plan to increase rents. Because of the positive sentiment, she expected Branksome Crest to be fully let by early next year. She said the market outlook was definitely positive, while quality residential buildings in prestigious locations were rare in Hong Kong. 'Supply has never been vast and we do not see new developments of such a calibre emerging in the near future.' The prospect on the demand side was optimistic on the back of the economic recovery and Hong Kong's role in doing business with the mainland. 'A recent independent survey shows for the first time in many years a high percentage of multinational companies confirming their plans to expand business and increase employment next year. This is definitely an endorsement of the rebounding economy,' she said. Luxury residential demand has increased as multinational and local companies resume expansion and hire more staff. Kerry Properties is a major luxury residential landlord with a strong portfolio in Mid-Levels. Other popular developments include Aigburth, Tavistock and Branksome Grande. The group has seen a steady growth in rental revenue and, with the addition of Branksome Crest, expects total rental income from its luxury residential properties to reach $370 million next year. Ms Choi said apartment design at Branksome Crest had been revised to ensure the layout was efficient. The group was committed to providing dedicated, resident-oriented services and some residents had been staying at its properties for more than 15 years. 'Most of our tenants have extensive experience in luxurious living in major cities of the world and expect to have the same privileges when they are with us,' Ms Choi said.