An influx of end users and investors is ensuring the market for luxury housing stays on the boil With growing confidence and sustained economic recovery, landlords and developers are registering strong buying and leasing interest in their luxury residential properties. Deluxe residences in prime locations such as Island South, The Peak and Central are especially in demand. Regal Hotels International has seen a markedly increased take-up of luxury houses at its Regalia Bay development in Stanley since the property market recovery last year. The group's executive director, Donald Fan Tung, said 95 houses had been sold since last year's launch, generating sales revenue of about $4.5billion. There were only 42 houses remaining in the development and the company expected to achieve an average price of $16,000 per square foot. Mr Fan said the luxury sales market in Hong Kong was supported by end users, people upgrading to larger, higher-quality flats, and investors. 'Luxury prices are expected to rise further, especially when new supply is dwindling substantially,' he said. In addition, the prevailing low interest rate environment bodes well for luxury sales prospects. Mr Fan said that with the mortgage borrowing rate at about 2 to 3 per cent, the cost of funding was low, making luxury purchases attractive. The weakened US and Hong Kong dollars against foreign currencies also made Hong Kong more appealing to overseas investors, he said. Mr Fan said a unique feature of houses in Island South was that they each had two en suite master bedrooms. All Regalia Bay houses have sea views with spacious interiors, large gardens and ample open spaces. Cheuk Nang (Holdings) has also capitalised on the bullish market sentiment by offering two luxury houses for sale. At 30 Severn Road on The Peak, Villa Crocus on Cheuk Nang Lookout is a 5,500 sqft house with five bedrooms, a private lift, private swimming pool and two parking spaces. The property commands views of Sham Wan on Lamma Island and Island South. Another property is A1 House at Villa Cecil in Pokfulam, which has a floor area of 5,300 sqft and six bedrooms. Cheuk Nang executive chairman Cecil Chao Sze-tsung said Villa Crocus was a European design, while the house at Villa Cecil had a more modern look. 'Buying property has proven to be a sound investment approach for the rich,' he said. 'They are holding [properties] for their own use and as an investment for capital appreciation. 'With a scarcity of luxury land supply, high-end property prices will continue to grow.' On the leasing market, Swire Properties has seen a brisk trade and encouraging responses from tenants for its Pacific Place Apartments in Admiralty. Leasing manager Jeremy Lamburn said occupancies remained high at the Atrium and Parkside apartments in the project. 'Demand for the new-design Parkside apartments has exceeded expectations, with all 27 of our two-bedroom, 1,920 sqft, 08-type apartments as well as all 27 of our 1,890 sqft, 05-type completely committed to,' Mr Lamburn said. 'We still have limited vacancies in our 1,750 sqft, 09-type category as well as the one-bedroom categories, but viewing requests are coming thick and fast.' Adopting the theme Living in Vogue, the redesigned Parkside offers a number of design options, ranging from classic dark to fresh light colour schemes in contemporary and Oriental themes. It has one- to three-bedroom suites and 10 different floor plans, ranging from 1,220sqft to 2,650 sqft. The leasing trend continues to be predominantly for short-term tenancies of one to three months and the group continues to offer flexibility in pricing for corporate clients and for long-term leases. Mr Lamburn said strengthening currencies such as the euro and yen would result in increased business activities from Europe and Japan. 'Europe, as a geographical demographic, has always been a strong source of business for us and, with China's growing business developments with that region, we expect to see a jump in the numbers of our European clients,' Mr Lamburn said.