Once an outpost of the British Army, Kam Tin, a sleepy suburb on the outskirts of Yuen Long, is being transformed by new housing developments by Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) and other developers. Since the West Rail Line and Tai Lam Tunnel opened more than a decade ago, the area has attracted buyers from urban areas seeking peace and quiet. But, as the quest for housing continues, a large piece of vacant land around the Kam Sheung Road MTR station is expected to be turned into another residential area in a few years’ time, similar to those under development at other MTR stations. Riva, an upmarket development by SHKP near Kam Sheung MTR, was snapped up by buyers a couple of years ago. It consists of low density apartments and detached houses along the Kam Tin riverfront. Riva comprises 25 high-rise blocks and 48 houses, together offering 780 homes. The rest of Kam Tin is dominated by village houses. According to Centaline Property Agency, the number of village houses traded in the secondary market across Yuen Long, including Kam Tin, grew 7 per cent in August from July. The value of transactions rose 25 per cent to HK$164 million over the same period. Owing to the sales of a dozen new village houses in Tai Tong in September, local estate agents also report an increased level of viewing activity in Kam Tin in recent weeks. Carmen Ng, an estate agent with Style House Property Agency on Kam Tin Road, says the prices of village houses in the area vary, depending on accessibility and proximity to amenities, car parking and the MTR station. While most standard 700 sq ft units in multiowned three-storey village houses are listed for HK$3 million to HK$4.5 million, more sought-after homes with private terraces or private access to rooftop terraces in convenient locations could cost up to HK$6 million, she says. “Because of much improved transport links, Kam Tin is no longer limited to buyers from the New Territories,” Ng says. “It increasingly appeals to buyers from the urban areas who want to live in a low-density environment close to nature.” SHKP is also marketing the PARK YOHO development in the area. Developed and delivered in two major phases, it will comprise 31 buildings and offer more than 3,000 units when completed. According to SHKP, the first phase can be split into three subphases. Phase 1A, consisting of three blocks, will offer 362 two- and three-bedroom apartments, that are almost sold out. Because of much improved transport links, Kam Tin is no longer limited to buyers from the New Territories Carmen Ng, estate agent, Style House Property Agency Phase 1B, named PARK YOHO Venezia, covers five blocks and will supply 499 one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Fronting a piece of wetland, phase 1C, marketed as PARK YOHO Sicilia, will offer 166 units of a wider layout mix, from studios to three-bedrooms. There are also special units in all phases. SHKP said earlier that it would market the second phase of the PARK YOHO development in the second quarter next year. “Yuen Long’s demographic is increasingly steering towards younger families as the Yoho series, including Yoho Town, Yoho Midtown and Grand Yoho, has successfully transformed the rural area into a hip new neighbourhood,” says Perry Fong, a senior sales director at Centaline. The PARK YOHO development is geared towards low-density suburban development that is ideal for families looking for more privacy and serene surroundings, he adds. Wholly-owned by the government, the site at Kam Sheung Road station is expected to be put up for sale by tender by the end of the year. The site covers about 1.137 million sq ft of land area and can accommodate over 2 million sq ft of residential floor area, or about 2,690 units, in addition to a shopping centre with 431,000 sq ft of retail space. The Kam Sheung Road station site has previously been valued at about HK$8.5 billion to HK$9.7 billion by analysts, or about HK$3,500 to HK$4,000 per square foot in terms of accommodation value. With such scale, the tender sale will likely see the participation of heavyweight developers and consortiums. Elsewhere in Kam Tin, A.G. Wilkinson & Associates is inviting developers to submit tenders for two sites on Castle Peak Road (Yuen Long section) it is marketing. The first plot covers about 61,998 sq ft of land area, while the second one covers approximately 19,688 sq ft. Both sites will be sold on an “as-is” basis. The closing date for the tender is November 8.