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Home prices rocket in Xiamen, one of the fastest-growing cities in China

Port draws property world’s attention to its mass-transit and retail infrastructure, large skyscraper projects and world’s longest elevated cycling path

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 June, 2018, 12:32pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 June, 2018, 12:32pm

Xiamen is a city on the move. New transport infrastructure, high-quality development and rising home prices underscore Xiamen’s ascent as one of the fastest-growing cities in China.

Over 16 years of data tracked by the World Bank, between 2000 and 2016, the pretty coastal city in the southeast of Fujian Province has tripled in size. Meanwhile, according to the latest Hurun Report, Xiamen ranked number five among the top 10 cities globally where house prices are growing the fastest, gaining 16.9 per cent in the 12 months from December 31, 2016 to December 31, 2017.

With the new metro line now open (part of a rail network under construction, opening in phases until 2020), getting around this charming city is easier than ever. But to appreciate the surroundings in a more leisurely manner, there’s nothing like the bird’s eye view from the “bicycle skyway”, which opened last year as a new sustainable transport alternative.

Billed as the “world’s longest elevated cycling path” (and 8km long), the project was designed by Danish firm Dissing + Weitling and highlights the high-quality design expertise reshaping the Xiamen city skyline.

On the retail scene, the new ITFC Mall in Huli opened in January 2018, adding 60,000 square metres of space to the market. Developed by Xiamen ITG Holding, the new shopping centre and two office buildings form part of the International Trade Financial Centre, positioned to serve the business community and surrounding middle-class. Savills notes that as a landmark project, ITFC Mall aims to provide customers with a unique shopping experience by offering a variety of luxury, fashion and F&B outlets.

MS Wonderland, a regional shopping centre in Jimei district focused on the “whole family experience”, and opened in June 2017 as an anchor project in Jimei district.

This followed the launch of The Modern City, Tong’an district’s first urban complex, Savills’ data shows. It is comprised of shopping malls, Soho offices, traditional Grade A office space and a pedestrian street.

Increasing premium office supply in the city, Yun Xi International Finance Plaza launched in Huli district in Q3 2017, featuring 51 floors across two super-high-rise towers, plus the Banlam Grand Theatre.

Among recently completed residential projects is Sino Group’s Mayfair by the Lake. Residents of the 487 units enjoy a prime location in the Binbei central business district, overlooking mountain, lake and parkland views. They also share use of comprehensive facilities, including a landscaped swimming pool and gymnasium.

Xiamen is a booming port city. We sought to emphasise the proximity to the ocean
Stefan Krummeck, director, Farrells

Major developments under construction herald the ever-increasing sophistication of this vibrant, modern city. Among them is Heart of Lake, an impressive residential development by New York-based Robert A.M. Stern Architects. Located on a 25-acre site on Huxindao Island in Xiamen, the 2 million-square-foot development will feature a diverse mix of residential types, including high-rise and mid-rise flats, town houses and single-family villas.

A highly visible clubhouse will serve as a gateway to the complex. The residences are organised around a lushly landscaped central park with intimate courtyards, stone-paved plazas and pedestrian streets that lead to the waterfront. Meanwhile, work is progressing swiftly at the Winland International Finance Centre, a mixed-use development occupying a prime seafront site on the east coast of Xiamen. Designed by Farrells for investor and developer Winland Real Estate Co, the scheme will have a gate-shaped tower of 177m as its centrepiece.

With a form symbolising openness and cooperation, the building houses office space at the lower levels, serviced flats at the mid-zone, and a hotel at the uppermost floors. A sky lobby and rooftop swimming pool will provide stunning views of the nearby Kinmen Islands.

The gateway tower will be straddled by two 189m office towers. Two retail and dining podiums will round out the scheme.

Farrells director Stefan Krummeck explains the architectural design intent: “A great deal of consideration was put into the urban design side of things,” he says. “The public spaces and the retail and dining elements will help create a vibrant new urban destination that is walkable, welcoming and people-friendly.

“In addition, we aimed to make the most of this spectacular site, both through the orientation of the towers as well as the openness of the architecture. Xiamen is a booming port city. We sought to emphasise the proximity to the ocean.”

Winland International Finance Centre Xiamen is envisaged as a new landmark within an emerging financial district east of Xiamen’s traditional city centre. The development will be integrated with the nearby Financial Centre Station of the Xiamen Metro, also under construction. The project is expected to be completed by 2020.