Chi Fu Fa Yuen properties on Hong Kong Island thrive on good feng shui and a comparatively busy secondary market
Southern Hong Kong Island enclave offers competitively priced flats with unrestricted sea views
Some property analysts regard Chi Fu Fa Yuen as a poor cousin to the better-developed Pok Fu Lam. Others see it as an also-ran to Aberdeen and Ap Lei Chau, where apartment prices have risen with the recent inauguration of the South Island Line.
However, Chi Fu Fa Yuen seems to have good feng shui and a thriving secondary market where flats are actively traded because, agents say, they are more competitively priced than Pok Fu Lam and Aberdeen.
Property agencies, such as Ricacorp, Centaline and Midland, have branches in Chi Fu Fa Yuen. According to Centaline’s data compiling site Centadata, homes in the Hongkong Land-built buildings range from HK$10,500 to HK$13,500 per square foot, depending on the unit’s floor and view.
“Chi Fu Fa Yuen is still popular with the buyers and the secondary market is very active in the area, even though in other parts of Southern Island districts the secondary market is quiet,” says Sam Chan, an agent at Ricacorp, one of the top three property agencies in Hong Kong.
Homes for sale advertised by Centaline, Midland and Ricacorp range between HK$4.5 million and HK$13 million and prices depend on the unit’s size and sea view.
Chan says the big advantage with buildings in the area is that they have unrestricted views of the Lamma Channel and there is no danger of these vistas being dwarfed by new buildings or construction as Chi Fu Fa Yuen is situated on top of a hill.
Chi Fu Fa Yuen was developed in the mid-1970s by Hongkong Land. It comprises 20 towers of 28-storey buildings with 4,258 residential units and seven towers of five-storey villa-type buildings with 70 household units.
Not far from Chi Fu Fa Yuen is the indigenous village, Pok Fu Lam Village, which is often mistaken as a shanty town by the residents of the surrounding apartments, who are nevertheless attracted by Chi Fu Fa Yuen and nearby Pok Fu Lam’s quiet, green environment.
Not surprisingly, there are a significant number of white-collar workers working in Central and Admiralty living in Chi Fu Fa Yuen and Pok Fu Lam. A number of them also work at the nearby University of Hong Kong.
There are also a number of schools in the vicinity, and the Queen Mary Hospital, which is one of the city’s major medical institutions and nearer to Pok Fu Lam.
Locals say the Pok Fu Lam Village has existed since the beginning of the 17th century. According to various news reports over the years the locals have repeatedly asked the government to give indigenous inhabitants of Pok Fu Lam the same recognition as residents of the New Territories.
These claims have been rejected by the government which has also threatened demolition of the village. However, the villagers have not given up their claims and continue to live there, while the government has not carried out the demolition threat.
Daniel Shih, director of research at property consultants Colliers International, says that prices in the south side of Hong Kong Island, including Ap Lei Chau, are expected to inch upwards in the primary market with buyers active in the new developments.
“We believe the secondary market will be quiet as buyers prefer new developments because of the incentives offered by the property developers,” he says. “Also, the stiff stamp duty is a big factor in buyers not getting into the secondary market.”
Shih says the secondary market would be subdued throughout the year, because of the rising interest rates in the United States, and since Hong Kong is linked to the US the local banks would follow suit by raising rates here.
Among the nearby developments, Academic Terrace is the most active in terms of sales and leasing, says Centaline Property Agency.
Average prices range from HK$9,745 to HK$13, 212 per square foot.
Baguio Villas which is in neighbouring Pok Fu Lam, is another luxury housing estate where sales and leasing transactions are active, according to Chan.
The entire estate consists of 1,515 residential units, configured in 33 blocks, numbered from 16 to 48 inclusive. With total area up to 800,000 sq ft, only 10 per cent was reserved for the construction of residential towers.
Unit areas range from 1,100 sq ft to 2,700 sq ft, and agents say the prices in this estate range from HK$11.5 million to HK$29 million.