Hong Kong property

One-bedroom flats make a return as developers target wealthy singles, investors

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 March, 2017, 8:55am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 March, 2017, 4:11pm

Hong Kong property developers, following a frenzy of launching shoe-box flats last year, are shifting to more spacious one-bedroom units amid growing demand from high-income single buyers and cashed up investors.

On Friday, a new residential project in Sai Yung Pun, named 28 Aberdeen St, will offer 30 one-bedroom flats in layouts of 407 square feet for prices as high as HK$16.55 million (US$2.13 million), or HK$40,676 per square foot after a 10 per cent discount.

“Such units are sought after by upper-middle class families and high income earners who are single,” said Louis Ho, a director at Centaline Property Agency.

He said some buyers snapped up one-bedroom flats in prime locations for their children due to return home after finishing overseas studies.

In addition, these one-bedroom flats are also attractive to high-income locals and expatriates.

“They are single and they can afford to pay higher rent for spacious flats instead of tiny studio units,” he said.

On Monday, New World Development and Vanke Property (Overseas) launched the last 64 units at their joint venture residential project Pavilia Bay in Tsuen Wan, with one-bedroom flats being offered at more than HK$10 million, or HK$24,000 per sq ft after discounts of as much as 14.5 per cent.

Four of the 64 units are 421 sq ft one bedroom flats, while others range in size from 758 sq ft to 1,366 sq ft. The latest batch will be offered for sale on Friday.

“It will set a record for a one-bedroom flat in the New Territories area of Hong Kong,” said Sammy Po, chief executive at Midland Realty’s residential department.

He said market trends are shifting towards larger unit sizes after a buying frenzy for tiny flats last year.

“Ten years ago, one-bedroom flats were 200 to 300 sq ft. But now, developers see more cashed up buyers looking for luxury lifestyles,” he said.

He said investors account for up to 40 per cent of overall sales of new flats recently, while mainland buyers made up of about 5 to 10 per cent.

“Investors who have excess cash would prefer buying one-bedroom flats as they are easier to rent out than studio units,” Po said.

Fred Chau, sales director at Centaline Property Agency’s Tsuen Wan and Tsing Yi district said the 421 sq ft one bedroom flat at the Pavilia Bay development could fetch a monthly rental of HK$18,000 to HK$20,000.

“The flat also comes with two balconies, one in the dining room and one in the bedroom overlooking a spectacular view,” he said.

The 28 Aberdeen St. development is being built by The Development Studio, which is founded by the former chairman of Swire Properties, Keith Kerr.

Thirty-seven apartments at 28 Aberdeen St., representing 93 per cent of the building’s units, are one-bedroom flats with areas ranging from 407 square feet to 410 sq ft.

“It is a different demographic. They are either young couples or singles and investors who look for a spacious living environment,” said Ralph Wong, head of development at The Development Studio.

A spokesman from New World Development said end users were the dominant buyers at the 983-unit Pavilia Bay.

“According to the land sale document, the project requires 52.8 per cent of total units, or 520 flats to be less than 538 sq ft,” she said.