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Weekend Property

Causeway Bay watch: commercial and shopping areas keep the district’s property market in healthy state

Hong Kong Island’s district bucks trend and commands premium prices for residential properties, while transaction volumes remain steady

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 September, 2016, 9:39am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 September, 2016, 12:48pm

Homes in Causeway Bay command premium prices compared with other residential districts on Hong Kong Island, thanks mainly to its commercial and shopping areas.

Although residential prices have slipped in other districts over the past 12 months or so, they have held steady in Causeway Bay as developers continue to build high-end residential projects, keeping prices firm and transaction volumes steady.

In the three months to July, an average of 30 deals were closed for homes in Causeway Bay at a unit price of around HK$21,000 per square foot, according to the Land Registry. The top deal closed in the past 12 months was the sale of a 2,683 sq ft duplex at Yoo Residence for about HK$104.8 million, or about HK$39,047 per square foot.

Jointly developed by Couture Homes, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CSI Properties, and ITC Properties, the single-block Yoo Residence complex was completed last year and comprises 144 units configured into 349 sq ft to 5,193 sq ft of saleable floor area. By the end of August, a total of 141 units were sold for HK$2.2 billion, or around HK$34,351 per square foot, according to a Couture Homes spokeswoman.

Also on the market is Jones Hive, another single-block project at 8 Jones Street, Causeway Bay. Scheduled for completion next year, Jones Hive is built by a joint venture between Henderson Land and Soundwill Holdings. The building consists of 119 units, including typical units of 333 sq ft to 558 sq ft, comprising one-, two- and three-bedrooms, and a 1,098 sq ft penthouse with rooftop terrace. According to the project’s sales records, about 87 units were sold by the end of last month.

In the secondary market, transactions have concentrated on Fontana Gardens, a four-block complex in Tai Hang. Since March, three, four-bedroom apartments of 2,550 sq ft to 2,750 sq ft were sold for HK$50 to HK$54 million each, or about HK$18,909 to HK$21,094 per square foot, slightly above the market price of similar sized apartments in nearby districts.

While transactions in the area have been steady, prices have not fallen below market rates. For example, the Warren, a 32-storey complex built in 2014, saw two, 612 sq ft properties change hands in the past 12 months, fetching about HK$16.4 million and HK$18.1 million, respectively. On the same street, the 37-storey Warren Woods, built in 2012, recorded five deals during the same period at unit prices between HK$19,022 and HK$24,636 per square foot. In July, a 580 sq ft apartment at Park Haven traded for HK$16 million, or about HK$27,586 per square foot.

Rather than sell homes individually, Wu Yi (Holdings), a mainland developer from Fujian Province, wants to sell everything in one go. It has put a mixed-use development, The Victoria, for sale in its entirety by tender, which closed on September 8. The building has a total gross floor area of approximately 28,646 sq ft, including residential saleable floor area of around 16,500 sq ft, and is to be sold on an “as is” basis.

Situated on Wing Hing Street near the Tin Hau MTR station and Victoria Park, The Victoria consists of 58 residential units, including two duplexes and two special units with full-floor occupancy. The retail space is arranged on the ground and first floors, according to Chris Hui, director of agency for development and investment at AG Wilkinson & Associates, the marketing agent representing the developer.

Earlier, another mainland developer, Shenzhen Centralcon Investment Holding, applied for planning permission to build a 30-storey residential building, which would include 23 units, on a redevelopment site at Tai Hang Road. But the proposal is facing resistance from local residents as they are concerned about the developer’s request for turning the green-belt zone it fronts into a private driveway, meaning that the trees will have to be cut down.

In the medium-term, new homes in Causeway Bay will continue to be supplied by redevelopment projects. Over the past four years, various investors have been acquiring homes in an array of old buildings at 5-11 Lee Garden Road and 54-60 Percival Street. The properties are believed to be approaching the 80 per cent ownership in order to trigger a compulsory sale.

Since early 2014, New World Development has been snapping up units at Sun On Mansion on Cannon Street from individual owners to pave the way for a redevelopment project. However, as there is still some way to go until it achieves the 80 per cent ownership threshold, the developer has listed some of the units it owns at the 52-year-old building for rent on a short-term basis, according to local estate agents.