Developers seek an edge as Hong Kong faces residential supply surge

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 December, 2013, 3:47am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 December, 2013, 3:47am

With the supply of new homes set to surge next year, developers are banking on eye-catching architecture, innovative design and snappy marketing pitches to attract buyers.

Research by property agency Ricacorp Properties shows 28 single-block residential projects will come on to the market by the end of next year, including five projects released for sale this month.

Among the releases are New World Development's Eight South Lane in Sai Wan, and Henderson Land's The Hemispheres in North Point, both of which have set out to differentiate themselves from competing single-block projects.

The 23-storey Eight South Lane at South Lane, near the Hill Road Flyover, is billed by the developer as a boutique project created for "Bohemian urbanites"; and New World Development has appointed Florent Nedelec Architecture, founded by French architect Florent Nedelec, to design an eye-catching curtain wall for the project.

The open space, lift lobby and clubhouse are designed by Australia's BARstudio. It is one of few developments in the city to have been designed by an overseas company.

The concept of "Bohemian urbanites" as well as the sizes and configurations of flats at Eight South Lane, the design of the clubhouse, and the art pieces that will go on display, are the brainchild of Adrian Cheng Chi-kong, joint general manager of New World Development.

"I studied arts at university and read books about Bohemian culture. I believe the culture will match the development and neighbourhood of Eight South Lane," Cheng said. "That's why we appointed the design houses. Both are bohemian."

Henderson Land has developed a brand it calls The H Collection to market its residential projects. The latest project under the collection is The Hemispheres, which Henderson says will establish a new benchmark for Hong Kong living.

Eric Cheung, a director at Ricacorp Properties, said developers were looking for an edge in the face of competition for buyers. "Competition in the primary market is strong. The brand and unique positioning of the projects will help to increase the value of single-block developments," he said.

"Sun Hung Kai Properties developed a single-block project in North Point, Lime Habitat, under the brand of Lime in 2009. When the developer released their next project, Lime Stardom in Tai Kok Tsui in 2010, agents and home seekers were able to understand the positioning of the project immediately. That helped to attract buyers and higher prices."