Weekend Property

Centre of attention: demand stays high for homes in well-connected Mid-Levels Central

Area is popular with homebuyers and investors alike because of its upmarket appeal and its proximity to the CBD

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 September, 2017, 9:23am
UPDATED : Friday, 15 September, 2017, 2:29pm

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Mid-Levels Central is one of Hong Kong’s most competitive and upmarket residential areas. There are various reasons for this: its proximity to the central business district, connectivity to the other parts of the island and Kowloon, and – with Hong Kong station nearby – one can reach the airport in 25 minutes flat.

Apartments in Mid-Levels are in heavy demand from the professionals working in Central and nearby Admiralty, mainly because of convenience and bigger living space. Hence, demand is high from buyers and investors alike whenever a new residential project comes to the market.

As a result, sales activity across the Mid-Levels Central area has been largely steady throughout the past year. A monthly average of 22 deal closings were recorded in the past 12 months to August, according to Land Registry records, with prices averaging about HK$22,230 per square foot.

During the past three months, the highest priced deals were concentrated in the well-known buildings, such as Grenville House, The Albany, Tregunter Tower 3 and Estoril Court.

In August, a 3,266 sq ft flat at Grenville House was sold for HK$110 million, equivalent to a unit price of HK$33,680 per square foot, according to Land Registry filings. Another 2,025 sq ft flat at The Albany fetched HK$85 million, or HK$41,975 per square foot.

Tregunter Tower 3 saw two units sold in August at an average price of HK$28,830 per square foot. Two flats, both at 2,945 sq ft, at Estoril Court sold for HK$65 million and HK$63.8 million, respectively, in July and August. New supply will remain limited this year, with slightly more than 200 new units brought to the market by a CK Property development and the stock units of a newbuild constructed by The Development Studio (TDS), founded by Keith Kerr, former CEO and chairman of Swire Properties.

Cannas Ho, assistant chief manager of sales at CK Property, says that the latest residential project, My Central, a redevelopment project in partnership with the Urban Renewal Authority at Graham Street, will soon be launched onto the market upon securing the presale consent.

About 50 units will be put up for sale in the first release, she says, out of a total of 185 units. Standard units are configured as two- and three-bedroom, all with en-suite bathrooms, at saleable floor area ranging from 700 to 1,000 sq ft. The retail podium below consists of about 26,000 sq ft of retail floor space.

However, CK Property has yet to announce when it will market the long-awaited luxury project at the prime Borrett Road site it bought in 2011 for about HK$11.65 billion.

TDS’s 40-unit residential high-rise, centrally located at 28 Aberdeen Street, is nearing its completion. All units are compactly proportioned as one-bedroom, at 379 sq ft to 410 sq ft. At least 16 of them had been sold as of early September, according to the project’s website.

According to Building Department records, Sun Hung Kai Properties was granted consent to commence works on its project at 18-20 Caine Road. But it has yet to announce any marketing plans for the development, which comprises about 127,000 sq ft of gross floor area.

Chinachem, whose Parc City flats in Tsuen Wan have been selling like hot cakes, is also redeveloping a site at 42-44 Kotewall Road. No hint has been given as to when the project will come on stream.

In the secondary market, a luxury duplex of 4,166 sq ft in the highly visible Century Tower complex has recently been placed on the market, according to its sole marketing agent Savills. To be sold on an as-is basis, the property comprises two en-suite bedrooms, a study room, and three covered car parks. It has an asking price of HK$238 million, or about HK$57,129 per sq ft, says Keith Chang, managing director of residential sales at Savills.

In the secondary market, another property consultant, JLL, says the tender for the sale of an old six-storey apartment block on Robinson Road, which is for redevelopment, closes on September 21. The value of the site is indicated at about HK$400 million.

Offered for sale include the 100 per cent of the undivided shares at 27D Robinson Road, and 80.56 per cent of the undivided shares at 27E-F Robinson Road. JLL said the site could accommodate about 18,284 sq ft of gross floor area after redevelopment.