Weekend Property

Profitable future: Tung Chung continues with a rash of master planning studies, public works and large-scale residential developments

Area has become a popular neighbourhood for expats, appealing to cabin crew and executives working in offices along the Tung Chung MTR line

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 August, 2016, 10:20am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 August, 2016, 11:27am

After more than two decades of development, Tung Chung on Lantau Island is on track for further expansion as various master planning studies, public works and large-scale development are in the pipeline.

Tung Chung has seen the completion of three residential projects in recent months. The Visionary, a Nan Fung development, was completed and handed over to owners in February.

Since its debut in late 2013, more than 1,402 units, or 99 per cent, of the 1,419 units at the development, were sold as of mid-July, according to Chung Chi-lam, general manager of property development at Nan Fung Development.

A small number of four-bedroom, premium and townhouse properties are still available for sale.

“Of the nearly 900 occupants who have moved in, about half are renters.

“That suggests a lot of owners are buy-to-let investors, who feel confident they will make a healthy return and benefit from a large number of potential tenants,” he says, adding that less than 20 units from The Visionary are listed for rent.

Apart from The Visionary, Sun Hung Kai Properties’ Century Link development (phases 1 and 2) was also completed and delivered in May, adding 2,339 units to Tung Chung’s housing inventory, according to Buildings Department figures and compiled by Ricacorp Properties.

Alpha Wong, an assistant district manager at Ricacorp Properties, says Tung Chung has become a popular neighbourhood for expats in recent years, appealing to cabin crew from airlines as well as executives working in offices along the Tung Chung MTR line.

Turnover of existing flats within Tung Chung has been steady in the first half, with about 15 to 23 monthly deals recorded at Coastal Skyline and Caribbean Coast.

Average unit prices achieved at the two housing estates tracked by Ricacorp Properties were HK$10,533 and HK$8,130 per square foot, respectively in June. Another shopping centre is set to open in 2018, expanding the shopping and dining choices for Tung Chung and other Lantau residents.

Newfoundworld Investment Holdings, a consortium formed by Hang Lung Properties, Henderson Land, New World Development, Sun Hung Kai Properties and Swire Properties, is building a commercial complex on a site next to Citygate Outlets.

The mixed-use development will comprise gross retail and hotel floor area of about 477,000 sq ft and is expected to be completed in 2018, according to a Citygate spokesman.

The government is also planning to expand Tung Chung outwards to take advantage of improving transport links, including the future Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge. The study on the Tung Chung new-town extension was completed in April. It will provide 49,400 flats and 877,000 square metres of office floor area, and 40,000 job opportunities.

Of the nearly 900 occupants who have moved in at the Visionary, about half are renters. That suggests a lot of owners are buy-to-let investors, who feel confident they will make a healthy return and benefit from a large number of potential tenants
Chung Chi-lam, general manager of property development, Nan Fung Development

Detailed design and site investigation for the extension started in June. Reclamation will start in 2017/2018 and the first population intake is set for 2023.

Elsewhere in Lantau, Discovery Bay has long been a popular expatriate community. Most of the units in Positano, the latest residential project in the area comprising 102 duplexes across 17 low-rises, have been snapped up.

Only four ground-floor units with private gardens were still available for sale as of mid-July. They come with a price tag of between HK$32 million and HK$37 million, with discounts that are up to 18 per cent of the listed prices, according to HKR International, the developer.

About half of the buyers are Hong Kong permanent residents, while the other half are non-Hong Kong residents, including those from the mainland, Southeast Asia and other countries, says Vivian Sze, general manager of sales and marketing at HKR International.

“Of those holding a Hong Kong ID card, about half of them, or around one-quarter of the total, are expats.”

To serve a growing population, she says more double-decker shuttle buses are being arranged to ferry residents between Discovery Bay and the Tung Chung station, the Sunny Bay station and the airport.

Following the sales of the Positano project, the developer is planning to put up for sale three high-rise apartment blocks, which will comprise approximately 160,000 sq ft of gross floor area, either next year or in 2018.

It is also planning a larger development of about 1.4 million sq ft of gross floor area in the Discovery Bay area, which will be built and marketed phases in four to eight years’ time, she adds.

Asked if HKR International would participate in the future bidding for the development sites to be released by the Siu Ho Wan Depot, she says “the company would carefully consider every land buying opportunity that arises”.

The MTR Corporation has submitted an initial master plan of the Siu Ho Wan depot site to the Environmental Protection Department for an environmental impact assessment.

The plan envisages 14,000 new homes, comprehensive commercial, retail, leisure and car-parking facilities, and schools and a transport hub.

In the land sales market, a low-density residential site covering 26,694 sq ft on South Lantau Road, Cheung Sha, was added to the government land sales list for this financial year. It is the fifth piece of residential land released for sale on southern Lantau in six years.