While real estate seems to be a fickle and fluctuating market these days, Hong Kong is feeling the positive glow of this ever-changing realm—a realm where old is suddenly new, in is immediately out, and “location, location, location” is a fleeting concept, given that the hottest location is something that is constantly being updated and altered. It’s not a bad thing; it simply follows the age-old philosophical adage that “the only thing constant is change.”
For Hong Kong, more specifically the Kowloon district, we see the market’s necessary evils in full bloom. In general, Hong Kong’s property market has experienced a surge of luxurious connotation, and currently this once unpopular area contains some of the “most expensive properties on the planet.” (Haute Living ran an interesting “Billionaire’s Guide to House Hunting” article last year, and Hong Kong’s Severn Road was included in the listing.) Leading this trend are listings contained inside a condominium called the Cullinan, which is currently offering two separate penthouses for almost $39 million USD (each). To break that down in regards to the size of the units, the going rate is at $9,675 USD per square foot.
The district newfound appeal comes from—you guessed it, location. Stationed considerably far from the old money hubs of Victoria Peak and Deepwater Bay, Kowloon is more urban, and the Cullinan in particular is strategically located directly on top of a luxury mall. The target market for this top-of-the-line opulent high-rise is the mainland Chinese. What’s appealing to this particular clientele, according to Nicole Wong, who is knowledgeable on the CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, is that they appreciate “the proximity to Kowloon’s bustling shopping districts” and being able to stay connected, in contrast to some larger property up in the mountains. The Cullinan, in particular, is stationed within convenient access to the rail system. To sum it up: functional and fashionable.
Also, Hong Kong’s appeal for the mainland Chinese goes beyond commercialism. Exchange rates have become complimentary to the Chinese Yuan in comparison to Hong Kong’s currency, and they have a more lax immigration policy—simply through investing roughly $840,000 USD in specific Hong Kong markets (namely real estate and financial), mainland Chinese residents are granted residency.
As far as being a bustling business hub, the International Commerce Center has imported several investment banks that are sure to enhance the area into an international financial haven, among them Morgan Stanley and Suisse Bank,
The Cullinan isn’t alone in its penthouse-appeal. Nearby high-rise the Masterpiece had a unit recently sell—at 590 square feet, a one-bedroom apartment, for $24.5 million HK. It’s perk? Aside from location, a serene view of the harbor. Forget a picture being worth a thousand words—as far as property is concerned, a view is upwards of $2o million in this up-and-coming real estate flagship.