If there is one special thing about my home district Tseung Kwan O, it is all about the ultra-high-density living.
Looking out from my balcony, I can see around 20,000 homes. The calculation is easy: I count 50 plus buildings, each with over 40 floors and having at least eight units on each floor. Add this number to the other dwellings in the area, and you get an idea.
I can recall a colleague asking me 15 years ago whether he should buy a home in the new district, which was then yet to get an MTR connection, for a little over HK$1 million, at a time when almost all Tseung Kwan O homes were in negative equity.
How times have changed! Now, it’s more people, higher property prices and rising rentals.
Still, it was a surprise when I came to learn that a tiny subdivided unit at The Grandiose residential development has been leased out at HK$125 per square foot.
That, as Apple Daily noted, was higher than what some units at Mount Nicholson in the upscale Peak area were fetching in terms of rental per square foot.
Living in Tsueng Kwan O has some drawbacks (ever tried getting an MTR seat on that route during rush hour?), but it also has several things going in its favor.
All said, Tseung Kwan O is a very convenient place to live. Assuming no service disruption, I can probably get to Central by train in 25 minutes, faster than what some people living at Mount Nicholson can get to the same place.
That might explain why the nano unit was leased at a high price within a few days after the owners put it on the rental market.
Interestingly, Tseung Kwan O is fast becoming a district that is known for co-living.
There are several cases where mainland students who are in Hong Kong for university studies have grouped together and leased a big four bedroom unit, say in Lohas Park, for around HK$24,000 a month.
Such arrangements help them enjoy benefits of scale, reducing individual expenses while also allowing them to lead a good life and have social companionship.
Returning to the topic of the eye-popping transaction at The Grandiose, it may be just matter of time before that record is broken in Tseung Kwan O.
We have news that a landlord at Capri, a new development from Wheelock Properties, is asking HK$8,000 for a 49 sq ft unit – the size of two 6×4 foot beds — translating to a rental of HK$163 per sq ft.
Small is expensive!
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