26 October 2016
Tanner Hill is Hong Kong's first-ever housing project for those who seek a higher quality of retirement living. Photo: HKEJ
Tanner Hill is Hong Kong's first-ever housing project for those who seek a higher quality of retirement living. Photo: HKEJ

Why the Tanner Hill elderly homes project will be watched keenly

The Hong Kong Housing Society will on Tuesday unveil the pricing of flats at “The Tanner Hill (雋悅)”, a housing project for those who seek a higher quality of retirement life.

The city’s first non-subsidized quality retirement housing project will offer 588 apartments in the form of “life lease” for retirees aged over 60.

Here is the deal: you pay upfront half of the market rent that you can expect to pay over your lifetime after age 60. 

Thus, a one-bedroom unit in the North Point project could be worth about HK$3 million while a three-bedroom unit can go for about HK$5 million.

Residents will be entitled to a combination of Western and Chinese health and wellness services, including a rehabilitation center, day care and residential care services.

On top of that, they will get housekeeping, fitness and social recreational facilities, and even have a limousine service on call.

There will be a HK$4 per square foot management fee and a monthly service fee for what is said to be a holistic service such as 24-hour emergency and nursing support.

What remains unknown is the exact length of the tenancy, although it will be a lifetime deal.

Going by health statistics, an average man in Hong Kong can expect to live until he is 81.2 years old, while a woman has a life expectancy of 86.7.

Given the advanced medical treatments in the modern age, people will only tend to live longer.

For buyers of Tanner Hill units, the longer they live, the more advantage they’ll have on the system.

The 588 units at The Tanner Hill, which is the first non-subsidized housing scheme from the Housing Society, will prove how popular the concept can become in Hong Kong

The “rich old home” is a more a Western concept than Chinese, as the latter generally believe that it is the duty of children to take care of their parents until they die. 

The Chinese prefer to have their elderly live with them rather than put them in retirement homes. 

However, mindsets are slowly beginning to change as people realize that in some cases the elderly will have better care if they stay in dedicated retirement homes.

A community concept will also create a new social circle for the elders, helping them enjoy the company of people in their own age group and develop new friendships.

Meanwhile, there is a shortage of traditional elderly and nursery homes in the city, a gap that new retirement housing estates can fill.

Recently I came across an acquaintance who went to enquire about Tanner Hill.

The lady, a 70-year-old widow who spends her time between Toronto and Hong Kong, currently owns a flat in an old building in Sai Ying Pun where she has to walk up and down the stairs.

She says she would definitely welcome an opportunity to move to a place that is more convenient for a person of her age.

The woman likes Taikoo Shing (who doesn’t?) for its convenience, but the option is ruled out as property prices have gone out of reach in that area.

Toronto offers a good and affordable option, but the lady prefers Hong Kong as she has more friends here.

That is why Tanner, not Taikoo Shing or Toronto, is a better prospect for her — as well as for many others like her.

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EJ Insight writer

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