House Hunting in … Hong Kong

Two Bedrooms within the Heart of Hong Kong


This two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom condo is within the western part of Mid-Levels, an prosperous residential space constructed into the northern slope of Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island, in Hong Kong.

The loft-like 1,215-square-foot unit is one in every of seven penthouses at Merry Court, a 20-story, two-tower high-rise constructed in 1970 with 139 models. Its alfresco rooftop terrace affords sweeping views of Central (Hong Kong’s enterprise district), Victoria Harbour and the Kowloon Peninsula to the north.

Concrete partitions, uncovered beams, tall home windows, wooden flooring and an open structure give the house an industrial really feel. A renovation three years in the past eradicated the maid’s quarters and “made it rather more spacious,” stated Charis Chan, the top of worldwide initiatives for List Sotheby’s International Realty, which has the itemizing.

From the elevator touchdown, which is shared by 4 residences, the entrance door opens between the kitchen-and-dining and residing areas. Bar seating makes the kitchen an entertaining hub. The outsized, granite-topped island has a built-in five-hob cooktop and wok ring, with an oblong fan hood above and storage under. The Siemens fridge and dishwasher have the identical shiny white end as the cupboards, and the wine fridge has a black encompass. Close to the entry, floor-to-ceiling metal cupboards have a rusty end. A powder room is throughout from the kitchen.

The lighting and audio system are managed by a smart-home system. The furnishings will not be included within the value, however is that can be purchased, Ms. Chan stated.

Beyond the residing and eating areas are two bedrooms. Each has an en suite lavatory with a patterned ceramic-tile ground and a granite-topped vainness. The master suite has a walk-in closet and room for a queen-size mattress. Slightly smaller, the second bed room has a built-in wardrobe.

An open staircase in the lounge results in a rooftop terrace with sweeping views.CreditRoyce ChengGiant home windows, wooden flooring and concrete partitions give the condo an industrial, loft-like really feel.CreditRoyce Cheng

An indoor staircase, open to the residing space, results in a 918-square-foot rooftop terrace, which has out of doors seating and eating areas, in addition to a kitchen and minibar. A sailcloth offers shade, and windscreens line the perimeter. A washer and dryer are additionally on the roof.

The condo comes with a coated parking house on the bottom ground of the podium-style constructing.

The Mid-Levels West space of Hong Kong is teeming with ultraluxury condos and tiny bachelor pads. This condo is a 20-minute commute to town’s enterprise district by way of a series of 20 coated out of doors escalators, the longest sequence on this planet. Along the circulate of transferring stairs and inclined transferring walkways are supermarkets, comfort shops, specialty outlets, pubs, espresso outlets, eating places and moist markets promoting recent poultry, pork, and fish and reptiles. Mid-Levels West additionally has plenty of worldwide faculties, amongst them the University of Hong Kong and King’s College. The condo is about 35 minutes by automobile from Hong Kong International Airport.

Market Overview

Hong Kong has three predominant areas: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories. Even with an eight to 10 % drop in costs and gross sales quantity between final August and the tip of 2018, town stays — for 9 years working — the world’s most costly housing market.

The “downhill trip” was sparked by the commerce battle between the United States and China, stated Koh Keng Shing, the founder and chief govt of Landscope Christie’s, in Hong Kong. Other elements included interest-rate hikes within the United States, the “slowdown of China and Hong Kong’s economies, and uncertainties introduced by Brexit,” he stated.

According to the federal government’s Rating and Valuation Department, the drop halted a 28-month upward pattern.

However, Binoche Chan, the chief working officer of List Sotheby’s International Realty, stated she noticed “a robust rebound” at the start of this 12 months.

An outsized kitchen island with a granite high and bar seating is used for entertaining. It has a built-in five-hob cooktop and wok ring, with an oblong fan hood above and storage under.CreditRoyce Cheng

Simon Smith, head of analysis and consultancy for Savills Hong Kong, agreed, attributing the “1 to 2 %” pickup throughout the first quarter of 2019 to “a recovering inventory market, ending of the present interest-rate hike and attainable decision of the U.S.-China commerce battle.”

The strongest areas of the market are the “very tiny flats and the super-luxurious,” Ms. Chan stated, with costs reaching 130,000 Hong Kong ($16,600) a sq. foot. Luxury patrons favor the Peak, South Side and Mid-Levels areas, with the “new wealthy” shopping for within the Kowloon Station district, she stated.

Housing is inexpensive past Hong Kong Island. In the primary quarter of 2019, costs in Kowloon had been 6 % decrease, and within the New Territories, Hong Kong’s northernmost area, they had been 25 % decrease, Mr. Smith stated.

To assist ease the housing crunch, 97,445 models are anticipated to be constructed throughout the subsequent 5 years, Mr. Smith stated. Because of the shortage of land on Hong Kong Island, new stock can be created by razing outdated buildings for redevelopment. In Central and Western Hong Kong Island, one to 2 new buildings are anticipated to be constructed yearly, stated James Fisher, director of market evaluation and analytics for Spacious Hong Kong, an actual property platform. There is extra growth within the Eastern District of Hong Kong Island, in Kowloon and within the New Territories.

In Mid-Levels, costs for a two-bedroom unit in an older constructing vary from 18,000 to 20,000 Hong Kong ($2,300 to $2,550) a sq. foot, Mr. Smith stated, and new residences usually promote for 35,000 to 40,000 Hong Kong ($four,460 to $5,100) a sq. foot.

Who Buys in Hong Kong

Because nonresident patrons need to pay a 30 % stamp responsibility, the overwhelming majority of patrons in Hong Kong are mainland Chinese and locals, Ms. Chan stated. Foreigners are inclined to lease, Mr. Fisher stated.

“It will not be a low-income immigration,” Mr. Fisher stated, explaining that residents from mainland China have come to Hong Kong previously 10 years for “middle-class and govt jobs” as soon as held by British, American, Australian and European expatriates.

“It didn’t assist that you simply had expats in Hong Kong costing a lot greater than different locations on this planet,” he stated. “Companies thought of how they may localize extra.”

The 918-square-foot rooftop terrace has seating and eating areas, in addition to a kitchen and minibar.CreditRoyce Cheng

Buying Basics

The 30 % stamp responsibility paid by international patrons is double the 15 % paid by native patrons, Mr. Smith stated. Legal charges are usually lower than zero.1 %, Mr. Koh stated.

The purchaser and vendor every pay about 1 % of the sale value in commissions.

Mortgages require 40 to 50 % down on a primary property, and are “a bit more durable” for foreigners to get, Mr. Fisher stated. Interest charges run 2.1 to three.5 %. For a primary buy of greater than 10 million Hong Kong ($1.three million), 60 % down is required.

Some banks provide supplemental mortgages as much as 80 %, and builders can provide personal financing as much as 80 %, “which improves the affordability,” Mr. Fisher stated.


Hong Kong tourism:

Rating and Valuation Department:

Hong Kong Estate Agents Authority:

Languages and Currency

Chinese, English; Hong Kong greenback (1 Hong Kong greenback = $zero.13)

Taxes and Fees

“There is not any property tax in Hong Kong,” Ms. Chan stated, noting that “all residential land is leasehold,” that means it’s owned by the Chinese authorities below 50-year land leases.

For this condo, the quarterly authorities lease is 5,917 Hong Kong ($750). The month-to-month upkeep charge is 1,800 Hong Kong ($230).


Charis Chan, List Sotheby’s International Realty, 011-852-3793-3688;

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