Weekend Property

Home prices rise in Quarry Bay and Taikoo Shing: demand soars for residential properties as more office space becomes available

Excellent shopping centres and restaurants, plus ease of commuting to and from nearby offices, have made the district a highly desirable place to live

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 October, 2016, 11:07am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 October, 2016, 2:19pm

As a key residential area of choice on Hong Kong Island, and served by excellent shopping and dining facilities, Quarry Bay and Taikoo Shing have long been a benchmark for the city’s housing market.

Housing estates in Quarry Bay and Taikoo Shing have a good secondary market, recording strong sales since May, and prices reaching new highs.

According to Land Registry figures, the 56 flats that changed hands in Taikoo Shing in August represented a staggering 100 per cent growth from July. And that contrasts starkly to May, when only 15 homes changed hands.

Latest figures compiled by Ricacorp Properties suggest that the average price of the most recently sold Taikoo Shing home has climbed to HK$16,132 a square foot, a record level for the development since October last year.

Earlier this month, a two-bedroom, 582 sq ft home in block 22 fetched HK$10.5 million, a record price for this type of unit in the Taikoo Shing and Quarry Bay area, or about HK$16,371 per square foot. The property benefits from an efficient layout and was initially listed for HK$10.8 million, according to agents.

In September, a 714 sq ft, three-bedroom flat sold for HK$13.5 million, or HK$18,908 per square foot. Another three-bedroom unit of 662 sq ft was also sold for HK$12.6 million, or around HK$19,033 per square foot.

Wong Leung-sing, associate director of research at Centaline Property Agency, believes the sharp recovery in sales and prices in Taikoo Shing was driven by buy-to-let investors.

He believes the upward trend in Taikoo Shing is expected to spread to other major housing estates, which will most likely fuel further price growth in the secondary market. But David Chan, a director at Ricacorp Properties, adds that investors prefer newbuilds over previously owned properties, at least for now, owing to the large number of homes that are available; offers of high loan-to-value mortgage plans and other sweeteners from developers; and a tight supply of new listings in the secondary market.

Estate agents also believe that investor interest, particularly in Taikoo Shing, is being fuelled by the HK$15 billion office redevelopment plan by Swire Properties.

Following our ... tenant-mix enhancement in Cityplaza over the last two years, we have seen the opening of over 50 new shops, brands and have observed consistently encouraging foot traffic in Cityplaza over the past few months
Aileen Chan, general manager, Cityplaza

Earlier this year, the developer announced plans that it would replace three industrial buildings with two grade A office towers that would inject 2 million sq ft of prime office space into the Island East office market.

From a landlord’s perspective, more grade A office space nearby would mean more potential tenants, many of them expats working for multinationals who might want to rent a home close to their office.

According to Swire Properties, the two new office towers, One Taikoo Place and Two Taikoo Place, are slated for completion in 2018 and 2021, respectively. Both buildings will be linked by elevated air-conditioned walkways and surrounded by landscaped gardens with cascading water features and additional alfresco dining areas.

As part of the office redevelopment plan, Taikoo Shing residents are also set to benefit from an additional 69,000 sq ft of communal greenery space to be provided by Taikoo Square and Taikoo Garden, the two new gardens designed by award-winning London-based landscape architectural firm Gustafson Porter.

Together with the existing 130,000 sq ft of open space in Taikoo Place and Taikoo Park, an extensive open space of about 200,000 sq ft – equivalent to the size of two Hong Kong Stadium football pitches – will be open to the public, according to Swire Properties.

Supporting these new, unique features will be the continued infusion of dining and retail concepts in the district, including a wide range of cafes and restaurants around Taikoo Place and Cityplaza.

“Following our large-scale rebranding exercise and tenant-mix enhancement in Cityplaza over the last two years, we have seen the opening of over 50 new shops, brands and have observed consistently encouraging foot traffic in Cityplaza over the past few months,” says Aileen Chan, general manager of Cityplaza.

With a population of over 40,000, Taikoo Shing comprises 61 apartment blocks complete with swimming pools, tennis courts and other leisure facilities on site.

It is connected to Cityplaza, Hong Kong Island’s largest shopping centre, which offers a comprehensive range of shops, an ice-skating rink, a cinema, and over 60 eateries across the Cityplaza and Taikoo Shing neighbourhood.