A trawl through the estate agency websites for Hong Kong provides you with an online glimpse of a property boom. When you look at the high-end luxury residences for sale, you can see why some commentators are fearful that the market is getting a bit toppy. It can leave you feeling a little dizzy. Location is crucial, naturally, and supply is a big issue as prices rise. Finding luxury properties to buy on Hong Kong Island, near Central or Mid-Levels, is difficult, reflected in the US$57 million (Dh209.36m) price paid for an apartment on Conduit Road late last year.
However, there are less expensive options in Mid-Levels: one three-bedroom flat on Robinson Road is quoted at HK$17.5m (Dh8.2m). Those expatriates on hefty contracts tend to favour the exclusive seaside areas such as Stanley, Repulse Bay and Shouson Hill. A four-bedroom flat in Shouson Hill, for example, is on offer for HK$39m. Other areas of Hong Kong Island are "coming up" as demand increases but supply remains restricted. One area is North Point, where a three-bedroom, 1,300 square feet place will set you back HK$14.8m.
Happy Valley, home to the famous racecourse, is not far from Central but still remains slightly cheaper than other areas on the island. A two-bedroom place of 1,700 sq ft on Blue Pool Road with mountain view can be yours for HK$20m. In Shek O, which has the ocean nearby yet is within easy reach of Central, a 2,200 sq ft three-bedroom apartment is on offer for HK$36m. Some properties are only available for rent. A six-bedroom apartment on Peak Road, which admittedly offers one of the greatest views as it overlooks the Hong Kong skyline, will set you back HK$380,000 a month in rent alone. The monthly management fee is HK$25,800, plus you have rates on top of that.
Meanwhile, to the west of the city in Pokfulam, which is handy to Hong Kong University, a four-bedroom apartment on Mount Davis Road is renting for HK$100,000 a month. For anyone prepared to make the memorable ferry ride over the harbour, or an underground ride beneath it, to Kowloon on the mainland, prices are a lot lower. A two-bedroom, 680 sq ft place in Sham Shui Po is listed at HK$5.9m. Another increasingly popular option is to buy on outlying islands such as Lantau, home to the airport, or Lamma. The relaxed pace on Lamma might be just the place to chill out after a tour of Hong Kong's dizzying property market.