A Kwun Tong Makeover

觀塘的華麗轉身

Squarefoot - - CONTENTS 目錄 - TEXT BY JUSTON LI

Kwun Tong is always in transformation, with more buzz and glamour added to its charm every day. The district got its name from being the location of state-owned (“kwun”) salt yards (“tong”) back in the Northern Song Dynasty, and was at one point a deserted wasteland during the 17th century. In the 1950s, it was redeveloped as a new town, and 35 public housing estates have been built here over the past four decades. Private developers came in around 1998 and further revitalised the area with a string of Grade-a commercial buildings and shopping malls. Today, redevelopments are taking place all over Kwun Tong, bringing better facilities, more green spaces and higher investment value.

觀塘一直在變,且愈變愈繁華。觀塘的名字由來可追溯至北宋的官方鹽塘,到清朝時曾一度荒廢,直到1950年代起被發展為主要工業區,自70年代起政府先後興建了35條公共屋 ,自1998年起再由地產商興建一系列的甲級商業大廈及商場。來到今天,觀塘正在進行大型重建,進一步提升生活配套、綠化空間及投資價值。 Over the past 10 years, commercial properties have been the focus of Kwun Tong's real estate market. The Energizing Kowloon East project is actively turning Kowloon East into the city's second central business district. Betting on the district's vast potential, a slew of businesses have moved their offices from Central to the Kwun Tong Business Area. In the meantime, boutique hotels, mini storages, upstairs shops and restaurants are popping up inside revamped industrial blocks, breathing new life and creativity into the old neighbourhood. With gleaming commercial buildings and buzzing retail outlets making Kwun Tong increasingly appealing for home seekers, its housing market is now on the rise. Large redevelopment projects have resulted in several new residential projects, a scarce resource in Hong Kong, particularly in its urban areas; naturally, these are drawing a lot of investor attention.

Residential properties in Kwun Tong pack considerable potential, thanks to the district's great connectivity and ancillary facilities. It only takes a 15-minute journey to get from Kwun Tong to the Eastern District, and around 30 minutes to Central. Upon the completion of the current redevelopment project, Kwun Tong will become Hong Kong's greenest town centre, complete with sprawling lawns and waterfalls. However, a few concern groups have expressed their worry that such a large-scale project may cause bad air pollution in the district, and that the high plot ratio could lead to an overcrowding of developments in the town centre.

過去十年,觀塘的焦點放在商廈市場上。《起動九龍東》計劃積極把九龍東轉型成為第二個核心商業區,令不少原本在中環設立總部的企業把辦公室搬到觀塘商貿區。同一時間,區內不少舊工廈亦進行大翻新,進駐了一系列的精品酒店、迷你倉、樓上舖及餐廳,令整個地區瞬間繁盛起來。商廈、零售與住宅市場一直是相輔相成,如今區內的大型重建帶來罕有的市區新盤供應,自然吸引無數投資者目光。

無論從生活配套或升值潛力去看,觀塘住宅物業都是相當可觀的。 觀塘位置優良,到港島東只需約15分鐘,即使到中環也只需約半 小時。再者,受惠於重建,觀塘將會發展成為全港綠化率最高的市中心(擬建地標式大草地和流水瀑布),進一步邁向全球日益重視的綠色生活。然而,有部分關注團體擔心整個大型項目或令區內通風受阻,亦有指地積比率過高,導致市中心發展過度密集。

Despite Kwun Tong's many advantages, prospective buyers should take into account the future prospect of Hong Kong's housing market before making purchases. First of all, the increasing supply of new units may cause home prices to drop; secondly, interest rate hikes will indirectly raise housing costs; and thirdly, the global economy's uncertain future, the ongoing Us-china trade war and the back-and-forth of the Brexit deal have been negatively impacting both the stock and housing markets.

According to property price indexes from squarefoot.com.hk, the current per-square-foot price of Kwun Tong properties is HK$13,744. The district's most recently built large estate is Laguna City in Lam Tin, while Grand Central, which has released its first batch of units for sale at the end of 2018, is its latest development. 雖然觀塘區集合多個優勢,但有意置業人士亦要謹慎考慮未來市況。首先是本港新樓供應量逐步提升,可能導致樓價下跌;其次是加息周期,持續的漸進加息變相增加置業成本;第三是環球經濟前景不明朗,中美貿易戰局勢及英國脫歐進程反覆不定,股市及樓市遭受牽連。

根據squarefoot.com.hk物業價格指數,觀塘區平均呎價為13,744元。區內大型屋苑最近要數藍田的麗港城,最新樓盤則有剛於2018年底推售首批單位的凱 。

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