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A renovated Park Island Apartment

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Many expats (and locals too I should add) move to Park Island, but then want to renovate their apartments to suit their tastes.
Expats typically want to go for a more modern, smart, simple,clean elegant look, whereas traditional Chinese often want to put in more cupboards, built-in storage, built in bed-bunks, false ceilings, etc. (Yes, obviously a generalization, and note I am not saying one style is better than the other, although personally I prefer the ex-pat style.
Today I am going to post up some great renovation pictures of the ex-pat"style I mentioned above, taken from project done by in interior design firm called Primo Casa Interiors Ltd http://www.primocasa.com/ who do high-end and stylish designs in Hong Kong.
From the photos, it seems the apartment is a 2brm apartment, perhaps around 700 sqft, which for Hong Kong is the size of apartment that often houses 2 parents, one or two children, a grandparent and a maid. In the present case, it looks designed for a couple an…

How to officially request for a car park on Ma Wan

I received this letter below from the Town Planning Board, regarding the process that needs to be followed if a private car park is to be granted on Park Island:
The submission should be made either by hand or by post to "Secretary, Town Planning Board, 15/F, North Point Government Offices,333 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong".
You may also wish to make reference to "Guidance Notes 10 - Application for Amendment of Plan Under Section 12A of The Town Planning Ordinance"
(http://www.info.gov.hk/tpb/en/plan_application/apply.html#pa_12a) for detailed information regarding the submission.
Thanks.
Alexander W. Y. MAK

TP/KT(1), TWKDPO, PlanD

Permanent taxi access to Park Island confirmed

Well, you heard it from me first in my earlier post on the Park Island blog:
http://parkislandhongkong.blogspot.sg/2012/10/247-taxi-access-is-coming-to-park-island.html
I can now confirm, Park Island has been opened up to 24/7 taxi access. I really feel this is long over due, and I suspect the reason why it was not granted sooner was that the ferry service operator was trying to protect its monopoly on public access to Park Island.
A number of people predicted this would happen, and they clearly were now correct.
We must again thanks Justin Tseng who has been pushing for open taxi access to be granted.
In my earlier post I speculated that if confirmed, the increased taxi access might lead to minor price increases on Park Island, as higher income earners, who are less prices sensitive and who are willing to pay extra for the ease of taxis rather than the ferry or the bus, will be more inclined to rent or buy on Park Island knowing that Park Island has 24/7 taxi access, is 15 minutes aw…

Justin Tseng proposes a multi-story carpark building and MTR station for Ma Wan

I have heard that District counsellor Justin Tseng has proposed a multi-story carpark for Ma Wan along with a Ma Wan MTR station to the Government and also to property developer Sun Hung Kai.
The location proposed iss under Tsing Ma Bridge (currently a football field). Cars would access the building with a short bridge from Ma Wan Road.
If you have any details on this proposal, please do let me know.
Justin, if you are reading this please feel free to post here and elaborate also.

Our cantopop star revealed

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Here she is!


Those of you who use the gym on Park Island might see her occasionally :)

We have a cantopop star living on Park Island!

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We have another cantopop star living on Park Island.
Does anyone know who she is? Here's a hint. She is young and she is cute. I even know which block she lives in, but which one, I am not telling.
Here's a digitally semi-disguised photo taken in the elevator. I will expose her next week :)



Today's post is not about property prices on Park Island...

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Let's move away, for a moment, from the on-going focus on rising property prices in Hong Kong.
I'm not going to claim credit for this photo. It was sent to me by a Park Island blog reader. But I love the photo, and it captures so well the peaceful feeling you get if you have an apartment facing in this direction on Park Island as the sun sets, perhaps with a beer or a cigar in your hand, sitting on the balcony unwinding a little after a hard day in "the city".

24/7 taxi access is coming to Park Island

In my last post Tung Wan Beach to be widened, I reported the good news that the main beach on Ma Wan, used by Park Island residents, is going to be significantly widened with plans for an even wider flat sandy beach. 
I now have some further good news to report, this time regarding transport on to Ma Wan!
The Tseun Wan District Counsel has just recommended and approved a further easing of transport restrictions to Park Island for taxis. I can confirm that the recommendation was also approved by Hong Kong's Transport Department.
It appears that the transport department has approved two major changes.
First, taxi access will be opened up to Park Island for weekends as well as weekdays. The hours of access will be extended such that taxi access will move towards an eventual 24/7 schedule.
I think the relaxed restrictions will be welcomed by mothers with kids and prams, and late night revellers returning from Central alike.
Secondly, the taxi operation area will also be extended from the ro…

Park Island Bus and Ferry schedules

Park Island Transport Company Limited (PITCL) was established to provide high quality bus and ferry services to/from Ma Wan Island. They are a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited, the company that developed Park Island. Here is the link of the Park Island Transport Company:
http://www.pitcl.com.hk/eng/html/index.asp
Information about the Park Island bus schedule here:
http://www.pitcl.com.hk/eng/html/bus.htm
Information about the Park Island ferry schedule here:
http://www.pitcl.com.hk/eng/html/ferry.htm

The contact details fot the Park Island bus and Park Island ferry services are as follows:

General Enquiry -Tel: 2946 8888 (24-hour automatic telephone system), 2946 8899 (Operator during office hours)
Email: enquiry@pitcl.com.hk

Address: 1/F, Park Island Ferry Pier, 8 Pak Lai Road, Ma Wan, N.T., Hong Kong

Ma Wan's Tung Wan beach to be widened in extensive beach improvement project

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Park Island Residents! Today I have some very good news to report.
Our main beach on Park Island, Tung Wan beach is going to GROW

It will be made significantly wider. We are going to get more sand added, significantly more, which will provide for a broad, wide, and extended flat beach, care of the Hong Kong Government.

Government approval for the project has already been granted, and a tender for these works will go out shortly.
The beach improvement works will mainly involve filling of sand in an area of about 3.47 ha of foreshore and sea-bed to extend the sandy area of the Tung Wan Beach.
To give you a sense of the size and scale of the improvement, the sandy area of the beach will increase from about 3,400m2 currently to about 15,000m2. So around a 5 times the increase in the current sandy beach area.

In the map below you can see, marked in red where the new sand extension will go:

Below you can see an aerial photo of the relevant portion of Ma Wan Island: You can see the Tung Wan …

A research team from Europe coming to Hong Kong to study Park Island as a case study

Readers, I received the following email from Louise Westin, from Sweco Infrastructure, in Stockholm.
If you feel like helping her and making contact with her, please feel free to do so.
Dear Park Island Blogger, Thank you for your help about where to find information about Park Island and Ma Wan! Now I wonder if perhaps you maybe could give me some answers to my questions to? I would really appreciate your help!
I am planning a study-trip to Hong Kong, for a group of approximately 100 traffic planers, urban planners and engineers. On our study-trip to Hong Kong, we have scheduled an visit to Ma Wan and the residential area Park Island. We have not yet sorted out exactly how the visit will be organized, but one idea is to handle out some information material before we visit the Island. This is the reason way I am writing to you, I wonder if you could post a question on the wall of your group. I wonder how the residents on Ma Wan experience that the traffic system to and from the Islan…

Park Island Property Prices - new records set for "small sized units".

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According to agents on the island last week was a busy month, with lots of enquiries from potential buyers.
I was sent the article below by a property agent on Park Island:
In summary, the article reports that  "small size apartment" sales broke record twice within the last month.
Park Island, Block 17, Mid Floor, Flat G
Size 449sqft
Price sold 3.12M ($6949 per sqf)
The owner brought in 2010 $2.45M and how now sold earning $1.33M up 54.8%.

According to the agent, the seller is now looking at buying a larger apartment on the Park Island. My comment on that is that whilst it appear the seller made a good profit, the larger apartment will of course also have risen in price, so from that perspective his "relative gain" may not actually be that much, as apartment prices everywhere (not just on Park Island) have risen substantially since 2010.

Some of these "small size" apartments were originally given to villagers from Ma Wan as part of the development deal with Sun …

Ferry Services on Park Island - will the ferry fares go up?

Over the last month or so, more residents on Park Island have become aware of wrangling between the ferry service provider to Park Island, Park Island Transport Company Limited ("PITCL") http://www.pitcl.com.hk/eng/html/ferry.htm and the Park Island Owners Committee regarding the ferry charges.
For historical reasons, the raising of ferry charges in Hong Kong is a very sensitive issue. People unfamiliar with why this issue is sensitive may want to read up on what happened back in 1966 when the Star Ferry proposed raising prices: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Kong_1966_riots.
PITCL is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited. It not only runs the ferry services but also the bus services to Park Island.
There is no doubt that the bus services to Park Island are very profitable for PITCL. Some of the ferry trips are also profitable for PITCL, especially weekend ferry services and rush hour times, eg 7.30am to 9.30am and 5pm to 8.30pm. For times outside …

Chinese Opera on Ma Wan

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I recently came across the blog site about Ma Wan Village http://mawanvillagecentral.wordpress.com/.
The site seems to be dormant now, but it did provide some information on what takes place each year in the structure that is erected in the Ma Wan Village, next to the Park Island Estate. Apparently its a traditional Chinese Opera, that performs each year around Chinese New Year.
I never knew what happened there, and now am planning to attend the next one. I would assume foreigner's are more than welcome to attend? Or is this more for a long term Ma Wan villagers only? If someone can clarify or if anyone who is a foreigner in Hong Kong has attended, do feel free to post your comments about the Chinese opera here on this blog.



Hong Kong Property "not overvalued" writes Tom Holland of the SCMP

Tom Holland piece in his SCMP Monitor Column dated August 27, 2012 has commented on the question many are asking. Is Hong Kong property overvalued? He writes:
As Hong Kong property prices set new highs, fears continue to mount that the market is a momentum-driven bubble in imminent danger of bursting.

Yet, although some softening of prices is possible given the weakness of the global trade cycle and the mainland's slowing growth rate, this column has long argued that there is little threat of a 1997-style crash any time soon. The reason is simple: although prices have gained dramatically over the last few years, there is no sign that the current boom - unlike the one in 1997 - has been propelled by a rapid increase in leverage.

If you doubt that - and many readers do - here is a little more evidence. The second chart shows the growth in value of outstanding mortgages plotted against the nominal growth rate of Hong Kong's economy.

In the run-up to 1997, the rise in mortgage lending…

Property update for prices of apartments on Park Island

Agents on Park Island are reporting that a number of "new records" for property prices, both apartments for rent and for sale were achieved this month. Transaction values also have noticably picked up after being quite low, historically, over the last year.

I'm trying to get some exact data from agents and then will put it up here.

What is happening on Park Island is probably a reflection of what is happening in general for the Hong Kong property market, which seems to be super high priced property is slowing or falling (both rentals and sales prices), with low and medium priced property continuing to increase.

Moving to Hong Kong, where to live?

I received the following email from someone moving to Hong Kong and wondering were to live. My response is posted below (personal details removed).

If readers of the Park Island Blog want to post a comment (either on the initial email enquiry, or on my response, feel free to do so!)

Hi, I will be moving to Hong Kong some time next month. I've just started looking for accommodation and trying to speak to people who have experience of living in Hong Kong.


We're a small family - myself, my wife and our 3 months old baby girl. Not quite into the city night life to be honest. So we prefer to live away from hustle bustle in a community setting where we will hopefully make family friends. I really don't mind 30-40 mins of commute each way. Office is in Olympic MTR area. First 3 months, however, I'll work in Central.


Your blog provided a lot of good info on Park Island. I am hoping to get your views on how you think the construction quality and facilities in PI compare to estates…

View of the ocean from the Ma Wan old village

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I stole this picture from The Ma Wan Network web-page :)

At some point I plan to write a full posting about the The Ma Wan Network. It's really quite a good resource for Park Island residents.

Photos of the old Chinese village on Ma Wan.

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Below are some new photos of the old Chinese village on Ma Wan.

To get there, head towards the Noah's Arc main entrance. Near the man-made "nature park", you will see a path. This leads down to the village, so follow that down. 

I already did a previous post about the Ma Wan old village here:
http://parkislandhongkong.blogspot.com/2011/03/old-village-on-ma-wan.html
Below are some photos of the old village on Ma Wan I took on a recent hike, this time with a better camera.






Are you wondering what on earth that strange white building in the backround is? That is the new Solar Tower being built on Ma Wan. It will apparently be used as Hong Kong's leading astronomy observation center. I presume they chose Ma Wan for the cleaner air and less light pollution, but I would think that no-where in Hong Kong is really ideal for astronomic observation.


I should add, that there is also a "New Village" on Ma Wan. That village has been newly built and is occupied by some of t…

Random Park Island Photos

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A few random photos I took around Park Island with my new i-phone, trying to be a little fancy with the panoramic mode.







Latest property data from Centadata

Seems prices on our island hit a record high last week, now just a touch short off 6000psf.

http://hk.centadata.com/cci/estate_info_e.aspx?id=008600

A few comments to consider when interpreting the data, and deciding whether to buy or sell:

1 - Will prices hold up during a new financial crisis coming from Europe?

2 - Park Island prices migh be up, how how about rentals? If rentals are not also rising then yields are dropping (unless interest rates have dropped, which they cannot really do as they are already all time lows).

3 - How about transaction volumes? If prices are up, but in the context of transaction volume being very low, what does this mean.

4 - Are prices on Park Island basically mirroring HK property prices trends, or is Park Island over (or under) performing HK generally.

Photo of Park Island Estate take as the ferry approaches Ma Wan

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AnaCapri Park Island transaction details - an update

The Anacapri sales data below is sourced from Sun Hun Kai.
I will also try to put up some details of secondary transaction records for AnaCapri Park Island once they start coming through.
From speaking to agents it seems that initial quick on-sells were around 8-12% up, but that for anything that's being offered for on-sale now people are seeking around 20% above what they paid.
For interested buyers of AnaCapri apartments on the secondary market, as I mentioned in a previous posting, it may be that as properties fall due for settlement some buyers might lower their prices. This is what has happened at some times in the Hong Kong property market. Having said that, rates are so low right now, the desire to do this is likely not to be as strong as it was in Hong Kong when interest rates were higher.
AnaCapri Park Island Transaction Details
Block 座數, Villa 單位 Floor樓層

03/03/2012 33 C 3 HK$ 7,749,100.00


05/03/2012 32 B 6 HK$ 14,247,300.00


05/03/2012 33 C 1 HK$ 11,886,300.00


05/03/2012 33 C 5…