Real estate agents in the Aberdeen area are reporting greater leasing activity in Ap Lei Chau, ahead of the scheduled opening of the South Island (East) MTR line on Wednesday next week. New stations on the line include Ocean Park, Wong Chuk Hang, Lei Tung and South Horizons in Ap Lei Chau. Built on the waterfront in Ap Lei Chau, Larvotto is a complex built by Sun Hung Kai Properties, Kerry Properties and Paliburg Holdings. It comprises nine residential towers, offering 715 homes. Property agency Midland Realty says it helped a landlord rent out a luxury penthouse in Tower 2 for HK$200,000 per month, last month. Measuring 3,026 sq ft of saleable floor area, the property benefits from a 920 sq ft private terrace and a 1,227 sq ft rooftop, including a swimming pool. South Horizons is another large-scale housing estate completed in the early 1990s, standing on the west coast of Hong Kong Island overlooking the Lamma Island. It provides 9,812 units. Because of its scale, diversity and popularity, South Horizons is widely regarded as one of the 10 major blue-chip housing estates in Hong Kong. And thanks to its immediate waterfront location, most units have great views. Ada Li, a senior manager with Qfang, says many office workers, who have jobs in Central, seek rental accommodation in Ap Lei Chau. One leasing deal she closed this month involved a 513 sq ft two-bedroom home in Block 25, for a monthly rent of HK$19,200. “The tenant is from another district. He believes the new MTR line will enable him to commute to work conveniently,” Li says. Another four-bedroom unit, at 729 sq ft, in South Horizons, was rented out by Centaline this month for HK$23,000. Benny Lou, a chief district sales manager with Centaline, says the stamp duty hike in November has prompted more home seekers to turn to the leasing market. The tenant is from another district. He believes the new MTR line will enable him to commute to work conveniently Ada Li, senior manager, Qfang Of the 50 walk-ins registered at Ricacorp Properties’ South Horizons branch in the first week of December, about 15 per cent were classified as investors, 25 per cent as first-time buyers, and 35 per cent as buyers moving up the ladder. The rest were potential renters, the agency says. Sixty-seven sales were recorded in Aberdeen and Ap Lei Chau last month, down 50 per cent from October, according to Land Registry records. Despite a thin sales volume, there were some big transactions, including a 2,659 sq ft flat at Marina South, a 114-unit new-build developed by China Overseas. The four-bedroom home fetched HK$148 million, or about HK$55,765 per square foot. By the end of last month, 66, or about 60 per cent, of the available units were sold at Marina South, according to Land Registry records. Marinella, another popular residential complex in Aberdeen built by K.Wah, Sino Land and Nan Fung Development posted three transactions last month. In response to more inquiries about the remaining special units at Marinella, K.Wah recently put up seven of them for sale in one go. Two duplexes, arranged on the 33rd and 35th floors, are up for grabs at asking prices marked up by over 60 per cent from the old price. Tony Wan, general manager of Hong Kong property at K.Wah, says the new prices reflect their rarity because the buyer of the two units are entitled to the exclusive right to purchase four to six parking spaces. December’s sales volume is expected to shrink as the negative impact of stamp duty hike last month has yet to be reflected in the latest transaction data. H Bonaire, a Henderson Land project launched for sale in early 2015, was completed in October, according to Building Department records. The single-block complex is comprised of 106 units, with most configured as one- to three-bedrooms smaller than 675 sq ft.