The Urban Advantages of Yau Ma Tei

油麻地的市區地利

Squarefoot - - CONTENTS 目錄 - TEXT BY JUSTON LI

Over the past months, Hong Kong's housing market has stayed stagnant, with the primary and secondary markets both experiencing subpar performances and disappointing sales numbers. However, judging from recent transaction data, owners of small secondary units having been softening their stance, willing to offer discounts ranging from 5% to 10% in order to unload properties faster. As a result, a number of prospective buyers are taking this opportunity to seek homes in the secondary market.

Amidst the clusters of old buildings in and around Yau Ma Tei and Mongkok, there are quite a few standalone residential towers and small estates aged approximately 10 years, boasting advantageous urban locations and good connectivity. Most of these standalone buildings offer mainly oneor two-bedroom units at relatively affordable prices, ideal for first-time homeowners or young couples. Thanks to the limited supply of such units, they also tend to be highly resistant to depreciation. For owners of units in standalone buildings close to commercial areas, the abundance of office workers in the surrounding neighbourhoods means a stable and continuous stream of renters and, subsequently, investment returns.

Yau Ma Tei enjoys a well-developed transport network. Residents here can easily reach the MTR station by foot or take buses and minibuses to all parts of Hong Kong. The proximity to the nearby West Kowloon Railway Station has also given Yau Ma Tei properties an added advantage and more appreciation potential. In addition, it's only a few minutes' walk to Mongkok, where a myriad of shopping malls, markets, dining outlets and entertainment venues await. Despite its urban location, the area isn't devoid of nature—the Yau Ma Tei Service Reservoir Rest Garden and King's Park offer green spaces and serenity right in the middle of the bustling city. A number of large projects are set to start in Yau Ma Tei and Mongkok, which, once completed, will further enhance the area's connectivity. A “super footbridge” will be constructed over Mongkok's busy Argyle Street, extending the existing Tong Mi Road footbridge to Hak Po Street and Fuk Tsun Street. The Water Supplies Department's Mongkok office on Sai Yee Street will be redeveloped into a compound comprising of three buildings, one of which will be a 75-floor tower offering spaces for offices, hotels, retail and entertainment—potentially the second tallest structure in Kowloon once completed.

According to Centaline's data, the average saleable per-square-foot price for Yau Ma Tei homes is currently around HK$11,836. Lime Stardom and Charming Garden are two estates that have had relatively more transactions, the latter of which stands as Hong Kong's first subsidised housing project that has had a flat sold for more than HK$10 million.

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