The world of luxury living is soon to reach new heights with the opening of The HarbourView Place in West Kowloon. And, with an influx of capital into Hong Kong, coupled with a buoyant economy, the major property agencies forecast rental rates will also reach new levels due to strong demand and a limited supply of available premium accommodation. Some complexes have been hanging up the full sign while others are running at near capacity, although pressure on the market should be relieved, at least temporarily, early next year when the multilevel The HarbourView Place opens. It will join a host of developments in the West Kowloon area including luxury private residential blocks such as One SilverSea which looks across the bay to Union Square towers such as The Arch and The Harbourside. Sun Hung Kai Properties' The HarbourView Place will be Hong Kong's tallest high-end serviced suite complex and will offer breathtaking views of Victoria Harbour and the Kowloon Peninsula in addition to world-class amenities. The HarbourView Place is part of a wider venture, the Kowloon Station Development, that includes the adjacent International Commerce Centre (ICC) - set to become the world's third-tallest building when completed. Boasting unparalleled accommodation with the distinctive quality of luxury hotel services, it will occupy the 50th to 70th floors of the Cullinan II, one of the twin Cullinan towers that will be the city's highest residential project. The HarbourView Place will have about 300 deluxe rooms including studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom suites from 400 sqft to 1,500 sqft. Mavis Kang, general manager of Signature Homes, the residential leasing arm of Sun Hung Kai Properties, is confident the five- star complex will satisfy clients' requirements for 'premier living standards'. 'It features a high quality and comprehensive standard of hotel service to guests, further expanding and enhancing Signature Homes' quality luxury residential portfolio with an additional top-end serviced suite hotel,' she says. Ms Kang believes the city's tallest luxury serviced suite complex will only add to the success of the company's latest high-end property across the harbour in Central. 'We are proud to have been able to witness Four Seasons Place successfully redefining the standard for premium luxury living,' she says. 'It is evident that market demand for this type of quality serviced suite hotel is on the upswing, so The HarbourView Place will accommodate these needs.' The success of Four Seasons Place has generated a portfolio income of HK$200 million in the first half of the year, bringing in an additional income of HK$100 million for Signature Homes. Four Seasons Place is fully occupied and has a long waiting list. Average monthly rental ranges from HK$67 to HK$88 per sqft, representing a 20 per cent increase in the past 12 months. And with The HarbourView Place soon to be launched, Signature Homes is not resting on its financial laurels, as it is going to set a new rental benchmark for luxury residences in Kowloon, with plans to charge HK$60 per sqft a month. The proposed price compares with rents at top-end serviced flats in traditional high-end districts on Hong Kong Island. The company believes business executives and expatriates from multinational corporations will find it the destination of choice on the Kowloon waterfront. Harbour City Estates, which operates Gateway Apartments at Harbour City Gateway in Canton Road, expects the Union Square development and the rise of the ICC to benefit Tsim Sha Tsui. Gateway has 499 luxury furnished apartments catering for the many executives and their companies who favour living in Kowloon. As they boost top-level recruitment in the region, several multinationals have put Gateway Apartments on their preferred short-list for expatriate housing. Like other developments in Kowloon, residents at Gateway Apartments take advantage of good road and rail links to the airport. These will be enhanced when plans to build a high-speed rail access from Kowloon Station to Guangzhou get the full go-ahead. Across the harbour, meanwhile, at Swire Properties Pacific Place Apartments, demand for luxury accommodation has been also growing. Jeremy Lamburn, leasing manager, Pacific Place Apartments, says the facility, strategically located close to upmarket hotels, the Central business hub and transport interchanges, has seen demand grow over the past 12 months. 'It has substantially increased compared with the summer of 2006,' Mr Lamburn says. 'Occupancy levels at Pacific Place Apartments are hovering around 100 per cent and there is a waiting list for vacancies in most apartment types.' While the popularity of the apartments has reached new levels, this is not merely a flash in the pan, but is based on high standards and an increasing demand for premium living by executives and their families. 'Ninety per cent of our residents originate from our long-standing corporate clients and the majority are business professionals from all over the world,' Mr Lamburn says. While the city is suitable for many executive tenants, there are alternatives away from Hong Kong's urban centres, although these are also in demand as the limited supply of luxury properties are leased. Sino Land, with a variety of properties across the SAR, from the south side of Hong Kong Island to the New Territories, has a proven history of catering for this growing sector and creating home environments that meet the criteria for a change in lifestyle. Sino Leasing assistant general manager Victor Tin says demand on the residential market, from expatriate and local clients, has been strong over the past year and is continuing to grow. 'Since the economy has improved substantially, we have had a lot of upgrades from smaller apartments to larger apartments for a better quality of lifestyle,' he says. 'We also see a lot of short-term service lettings as locals renovate their flats during the summer season.' He predicts that while there is such strong demand for a limited number of available luxury properties, rental rates will continue to rise. 'We are going to see another 10 to 20 per cent increase in the coming months,' he says. 'The luxury leasing market is still very strong; all houses and luxury apartments are either full or pre-leased before expiration. 'And, as there is no new supply of leasing developments, we are still positive on the market.' Mr Tin says the scope of the company's portfolio has made it appealing to a wide range of clients and that they offer all types of properties, from serviced apartments to individual houses with rents ranging from HK$8,888 to HK$380,000 per month. 'Tenants also look for alternative luxury houses and apartments in alternative locations such as the New Territories,' he says.