Weekend Property

Sai Kung offers perfect opportunity to get away from it all

New Territories town, blessed with beautiful coastline and green spaces, is a breath of fresh air for families who prefer life in a place with quaint shops and restaurants

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 April, 2017, 11:17am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 April, 2017, 2:14pm

It’s clean and green and known as Hong Kong’s “back garden”. Welcome to Sai Kung which continues to attract expatriates and locals, who want to get away from it all.

Blessed with a beautiful coastline and abundant green spaces, Sai Kung is a breath of fresh air for families who prefer life in a small town with quaint shops and restaurants.

However, life in Sai Kung is not entirely idyllic as residents continue to complain about the narrow one-lane road leading into the town. This artery is increasingly choked with traffic, especially on weekends, when beleaguered urbanites flock to indulge themselves in Sai Kung’s seafood restaurants.

Another perennial attraction is the Jockey Club Kau Sai Chau public golf course, which gives amateurs and professionals a chance to take on the three available 18-hole courses at reasonable prices.

Seafood lovers won’t be disappointed as there is a string of eateries situated on the promenade, while there are also pubs on the waterfront and in the surrounding streets.

Sai Kung’s popularity has also attracted property developers to the area, and there are several projects that have been launched.

Towards the end of the waterfront promenade is The Mediterranean, built by Sino Land, where 249 homes, out of a total of 297, had been sold by late April at an average price of HK$13,900 per square foot, according to estate agents.

Park Mediterranean, another Sino Land development on sale in the Sai Kung Town area, has seen 146 flats, out of a total of 285, sold by the same stage, at an average price of HK$12,800 per square foot.

“To most Westerners and expats, Sai Kung is somehow reminiscent of the kind of suburban lifestyle of their home countries,” says Matthew Chung, sales manager at the Sai Kung-based agent Sunshine Property. “People like to live in the neighbourhoods surrounding the town, where grocery stores and great restaurants are concentrated, and places to get out and engage with friends and neighbours.”

Chung suggests that prospective homebuyers, especially those from the urban areas, are especially drawn by the greater space and greenery available to those living in village houses.

“As [I recall], pilots and aircraft engineers first settled in Sai Kung in the early days, as it was relatively close to the old Kai Tak airport. Over the years, the expat community of Sai Kung and Clear Water Bay has grown and developed, making it a preferred residential location for new expats and nature lovers,” the estate agent says.

As [I recall], pilots and aircraft engineers first settled in Sai Kung in the early days, as it was relatively close to the old Kai Tak airport
Matthew Chung, sales manager, Sunshine Property

Chung adds that a modern village house with all the fittings and outdoor spaces in Clearwater Bay sells for about HK$10,000 per square foot or slightly less on the secondary market.

Compared with traditional expat neighbourhoods on Hong Kong Island, Sai Kung homes are generally more affordable, says Soi M. Schmeelke-Puan, manager at estate agent But with the continuous development of Kowloon East as the second central business district, she says Sai Kung’s appeal to expat executives working in the new commercial district has been rising because of the short commute to Kowloon.

It’s not easy to rent a homes as “landlords know that their tenant pool is growing and [that their homes] will be able to command higher rents”, Schmeelke-Puan says.

The seaside neighbourhoods along the coastal area of Clear Water Bay are popular among Western families because it is closer to Kowloon East and the Eastern Harbour Tunnel for access to Hong Kong Island, she says.

In the primary market, New World Development has started selling the first batch of 37 homes at the Mount Pavilia development in Clear Water Bay by tender. The development, which is nearing completion, comprises 680 homes configured as either three and four bedrooms, including special units, and features a clubhouse for residents and a vast green open space, the developer says.