Of Properties and School Net 12
School Net 12 is a traditionally popular school network, including renowned educational institutes such as St. Joseph's Primary School and Marymount Primary School. This school net's distinguishing feature is that it contains a high proportion of affiliated, linked and all-through schools.
With mostly single-sex institutions, its all-girls schools include Marymount Primary School, St. Francis Canossian School and St. Paul's Primary Catholic School, while options for boys include St. Joseph's Primary School and Pun U Association Wah Yan Primary School. Each of these have linked secondary schools which are prestigious institutions undertaking the English syllabus.
As for affiliated institutions, four are government primary schools. It's worth noting that among these, Hennessy Road Government Primary School and Hennessy Road Government Primary School (Causeway Bay) have an affiliation with the traditionally prestigious Queen's College. According to data from the Education Bureau, during the Central Allocation process for secondary school admittance, 25% of slots are reserved for students in affiliated primary schools. Although this number isn't as large as the 85% allowance in linked schools, it still increases the chances of getting into a good secondary school from the get-go.
School Net 12 includes the areas of Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, Happy Valley, Tai Hang, Jardine's Lookout and Son Kon Po, as well as the residentials Shiu Fai Terrace, Tung Shan Terrace, Lai Tak Tsuen, Villa Monte Rosa, Evergreen Villa, Park Towers and Dragon Terrace. There are super luxury properties with a handful of medium-priced options.
Winnie Kwok from Landworld Property Agency recommends a 455-square-foot one-bedroom apartment at The Avenue, which is stylishly decorated, comes equipped with all necessary appliances and is available for move in immediately. A definitive selling point is the unit's 11-foot ceiling height, which can even accommodate a mezzanine level—this means extra storage space or even another bedroom. This unit is available for rent at HK$36,000 per month or HK$79 per square foot.
The property sits on top of the upscale shopping destination, Lee Tung Avenue. With 70 shops spanning three stories, Lee Tung Avenue offers 100,000 square feet of shopping space; shop spaces range from approximately 100 square feet up to 10,000 square feet.
The Zenith in Wan Chai is also a residential estate active with investment transactions. There are three blocks sitting above the bustling Wan Chai Market, a mere three minutes' walk away from the MTR station. Two-bedroom units account for nearly 70% of its 652 units. Over 200 of its units are three-bedroom configurations, which are particularly popular with families, though there are also many units of similar age in Wan Chai's other estates.
Another good choice is Southorn Garden. Though the estate only offers one- and twobedroom configurations, the saleable area of these units range from 401 to 591 square feet (gross floor area measuring 542 to 790 square feet)—large enough for home owners to play around with interiors and create more space or rooms as needed.
Blessing Realty's manager Tony Tsang recommends a renovated two-bedroom rental unit in Southorn Garden, measuring 517 square feet and costing HK$24,000 per month or HK$46 per square foot. Tsang notes that a lot of families from Island East or Tseung Kwan O move to Wan Chai, but 85% of properties in this district are standalone buildings aged 40 to 50 years old—something that newcomers to the area will have to come to terms with.
Southorn Garden is 32 years old and situated on top of the Wan Chai MTR station, which means the estate is a mere 30-metre stroll from the nearest MTR exit. Its unparalleled convenience and proximity to a wide range of shops—with the Wan Chai Computer Centre just below—should make up for the estate's relatively old age.
Apart from the districts of Wan Chai and Causeway Bay, School Net 12 also includes Happy Valley, which most people assume to be a traditionally upscale residential area with unrealistically high prices and rents, but in reality there are still relatively affordable options to be found.
Neighbourhood expert Andy Wong from Parklane Property Agency recommends a 534-square-feet two-bedroom rental unit in Le Cachet, going for HK$28,000 per month or HK$52 per square foot. The property has been simply renovated and comes with basic appliances. Le Cachet is a standalone building located at 69 Sing Woo Road, which opened for move-in in 2001.