Weekend Property

North Point finds space: popular Hong Kong district steps up its housing supply

With land squeezed for residential projects on Hong Kong Island, this popular district is one of the few to have new units coming up for sale, some of which have been fetching record-high prices

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 May, 2017, 9:36am
UPDATED : Friday, 19 May, 2017, 4:49pm

A shortage of land has limited the supply of new homes on Hong Kong Island.

Even though new residential developments have mushroomed in Kowloon and the New Territories, Hong Kong Island residents are less willing to relocate across the harbour.

With supply short and demand high, it is not surprising that new projects on Hong Kong Island often sell faster, if the pricing is right – and sometimes buyers don’t care about the pricing. North Point is one of the few locations on the Island that has seen more residential projects in the pipeline recently.

One such project now on the market is the 378-unit Harbour Glory, a CK Property project. Occupying a harbourfront location on Oil Street and within easy walking distance of Fortress Hill MTR station, the development comprises six residential towers, as well as a hotel block.

The floor plan mix ranges from one- to four-bedroom flats, of which about 80 per cent are laid out as three- and four-bedrooms for larger families. The flats are arranged above the hotel rooms, and most of them command an open view of the harbour, according to the property developer.

CK Property acquired the Oil Street site, previously occupied by a government warehouse, for about HK$6.26 billion in 2011, or about HK$8,290 per square foot.

In May, a mainland buyer purchased a 1,594 sq ft, four-bedroom unit at an astounding price of HK$70.92 million, or at a record unit price of more than HK$44,000 per square foot, excluding the extra stamp duty surcharge, according to agents.

Also on the market is a micro-apartment project on a redevelopment site located at the intersection of Yuet Yuen Street and Java Road by Henderson Land. As an example, a 169 sq ft flat on the 29th floor is now priced at about HK$4.71 million, or around HK$27,893 per square foot, according to the project’s latest price list.

Prior to these two projects, the last major development on the market was The Pavilia Hill by New World Development. And before that, there had been no new supply within North Point for as long as seven years.

Elsewhere in North Point, New World is working on another luxury development, Fleur Pavilia, at Kai Yuen Street. The development will have 611 units, mainly configured as three- and four-bedrooms, spread over three modern towers with a glass façade.

Pricing will likely be set with reference to The Pavilia Hill, according to agents. Between April 2016 and March this year, a total of 11 properties at The Pavilia Hill changed hands at an average unit price of about HK$40,000 per square foot, according to Land Registry records.

New World has yet to announce when the Fleur Pavilia properties will go on sale, but estate agents anticipate the sale launch to be some time this year.

Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) is working on its North Point project, which is also expected to hit the market quite soon. It will comprise nine mid-rise apartments of 13 to 18 storeys, together providing a total of 702 flats. It is about a five-minute walk from North Point MTR station.

SHKP purchased the site in 2012 for about HK$6.91 billion, equivalent to about HK$9,347 per square foot in terms of unit value. The project can further be broken down into the eastern and western sites and will feature a large-scale shopping centre as the centrepiece, plus a luxury hotel.

Named Harbour North, the shopping centre is being built in two phases, with four storeys containing 146,000 sq ft at the podium of the residential blocks and 74,000 sq ft over five storeys in the hotel structure. In total, it will comprise about 120 to 130 retail shops upon completion.

For the time being, North Point is a little short on major shopping facilities like those of Causeway Bay or Taikoo Shing. The existing shopping arcades of Fitfort and Island Place are relatively small in scale with limited offerings.

SHKP says it will transform the shopping centre – complete with a waterfront promenade, shading and green space – into a new landmark for North Point to meet the demand for one-stop shopping and entertainment from the many middle-class families living across the area.

The first phase of the shopping centre is expected to be completed later this year, while the second phase will likely be completed in the first quarter of 2018, according to SHKP.

At 3 Comfort Terrace, mid-sized developer Kwai Hung Group is working on a redevelopment site, which will be turned into a 15-storey complex with 37 apartments, according to Buildings Department records.

Another mid-sized developer, Soundwill, was granted permission to build a 28-storey residential complex with a total gross floor area of about 30,000 sq ft on a redevelopment site at Kin Wah Street and Fort Street.