Life in Central
Super typhoon Mangkhut has recently wreaked havoc in Hong Kong, causing severe destruction across town. Centaline Property Agency recorded zero transactions in the top ten estates the weekend prior to the typhoon. Is the tropical cyclone to blame for this? Not entirely. Over the past few years, as home buyers concentrate on the primary property market, the secondary market has become increasingly stagnant. According to data provided by Ricacorp Properties, sales volumes of the city's 50 ‘index housing estates' have been dropping for four consecutive weeks. With the Us-china trade war escalating, the intense fluctuation of the stock market, and the increasing possibility of interest rate hikes in Hong Kong, it's expected that more prospective home buyers will choose to stay put for the time being.
Now that summer is over and the housing market slows down, we have seen several cases of rent reductions, proving that this is a good time to seek rentals. Location is a vital factor in choosing where to rent. No matter what type of renter you are, you would probably want to live in a neighbourhood with a nice environment, great connectivity, reputable schools and comprehensive facilities. Boasting luxury homes, harbour views, top educational institutions and a diverse and friendly community, Central has it all. The district is connected to virtually all parts of Hong Kong via public transport, plus the airport, the Hong Kong Macao Ferry Terminal and the West Kowloon Station are all easily accessible from here. In addition, Central is also home to multiple large shopping centres, the Soho district, and an array of historic sites, cultural venues, retailers and dining and entertainment outlets.
On top of everything, Central is the city's central business district. Popular amongst white-collar corporate workers, including expat professionals, the district has a string of advantages, but isn't devoid of shortcomings. Housing supply pulls short in Central, and large estates are extremely rare, which is an advantage for investors with properties to lease out. But it also means that renters will spend a lot of time looking for ideal rentals, or choose to live in the Centraladjacent Sheung Wan or Sai Ying Pun.
Another option would be serviced apartments, which often offer flexible longstay plans and come with a wide spectrum of choices. Most of these apartments are well equipped, and guests can enjoy a variety of facilities including gym, lounge, business centre, spa and swimming pool. Compared to many old buildings in the area (some over 30 years old), serviced apartments are better designed for modern living.
Sales data from Gohome.com.hk shows that Central and Sheung Wan had a total of eight property transactions in August, with an average per-square-foot price of HK$21,203. The area has a new development, My Central, next to which is a lot bought by Sino Land in a government auction last year. The two projects will provide over 290 housing units.