North Point Gets a Facelift
As we enter the first month of the summer, a number of new developments became available for sale, fuelling the primary market. The projected number of sales in the primary market for June is 2,300, a 60% increase compared to May. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve imposed an interest rate hike of 0.25% in mid-june, whereas the federal funds rate roses by 1.75 to 2%, marking the second increase this year.
Although Hong Kong banks are expected to increase their interest rates this September, housing prices continue to surge. Thanks to a number of new developments in the area, North Point in particular has seen several record-breaking sales numbers. Just as prospective buyers are wondering whether real estate prices will fall once they make the purchases, according to real estate agents, 10% of home sellers in North Point have increased their prices right before closing the deal. The reason behind it is that despite the interest rates increasing seven times since late 2015, Hong Kong banks have not followed suit.
Back in the 1950s and 60s North Point was known as “Little Fujian” or “Little Shanghai,” and boasted regional idiosyncrasies and a unique cultural landscape. After decades of land reclamation, North Point—once a hillside area—has become a waterfront neighbourhood with views of Victoria Harbour, well-developed facilities and transport system, as well as a number of new luxury developments. Meanwhile, its bevy of reputable schools (the second biggest school net on Hong Kong Island) makes it a favourite amongst local and expat families. Apart from old buildings and walk-ups, the area is also home to many new office buildings, urban renewal projects, large complexes, infrastructure projects and green spaces in development.
Located in the middle of the Eastern District, North Point will benefit from the soon-toopen Central–wan Chai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link, which will facilitate faster and easier commute between the west and east sides of Hong Kong Island. Residents also have the option of getting around the Island by the MTR or the tram.
In addition, North Point Ferry Pier has ferry routes to Kwun Tong, Hung Hom and Kowloon City, while the North Point Ferry Pier Bus Terminus offers 14 bus routes including an airport bus, as well as a special minibus route that goes to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital. Overall, there are over 30 bus routes that go through North Point, making it a wonderfully connected neighbourhood.
Currently, large shopping malls in the area include Island Place, Fitfort and Provident Centre, which aren't many at all. However, a wide range of mom-and-pop shops can sufficiently meet residents' daily needs. It is expected that an approximate number of 2,400 new units will become available in North Point between 2017 and 2019, and more retail spaces will be brought by future housing projects. According to Centadata, the average per-saleablesquare-foot price for North Point and Fortress Hill in June is around HKD17,020, marking a 6.2% increase from the previous month.