Showing posts from 2014

Hong Kong property market outlook 2015

How will the Hong Kong property market perform in 2015? 

Before I share my thoughts lets look at how the market performed in 2014. 
In 2014, according to the Centaline Centa City Leading Index (CCI), property prices in HK, overall, rose around 14%, (with much of that gain taking place in the latter part of the year). 
So for a person wishing to buy who is currently out of the market, or for someone who had sold thinking the market had peaked, the 14% increase clearly represents a massive loss of money/opportunity.
This of course does not mean all properties in HK rose equally. Some types of property may have fallen up to 5% and some may have risen more than 20%, dependent on factors like quality, location, price range (ie higher priced property was more affected by Government cooling measures), appeal to Chinese property buyers, proximity to newly opened MTR stations, etc.
Bear in mind also that the 14% gain last year, which, if say leveraged at 50%, amounts to a 28% gain on capital invest…

Another arial drone clip of Ma Wan

Another Park Island drone showing Park Island viewed from above.

Hong Kong Drone (Park Island)

See if you can spot your place :)

Merry Christmas from the Park Island blogger.

Park Island Ferry Schedule. Park Island Bus Schedule.

Here is the most up to date schedule for buses to Park Island and the Park Island ferry schedule: Park Island Buses and Park Island Ferry Schedule
From Park Island Transport Company's website:
Ferry Services:
We operate a fleet of high-speed double-deck air-conditioned catamarans plying between Park Island and Central with a journey time of about 25 minutes as well as between Park Island and Tsuen Wan with journey time of about 15 minutes.
Park Island Ferry Schedule

Bus Services:
We employ a fleet of single-deck buses for four shuttle routes: to and from Park Island / Ma Wan among MTR Tsing Yi Station, Kwai Fong Metroplaza, Hong Kong International Airport and MTR Tsuen Wan Station / Tsuen Wan West Station. MTR Tsing Yi Station and Kwai Fong Metroplaza routes are operated round the clock. 

The journey time *of each route is about 12 minutes, 18 minutes, 30 minutes and 18 to 23 minutes respectively. 
Park Island Bus Schedule

Dog killed in an attack by another dog on Ma Wan

I have some sad news to report, regarding a dog which died after being attacked by another dog.
The incident took place near Noah's ark where many children,adults and dogs are present. The deceased dog was attacked and killed and the helper of the dog was also bitten by a big dog that had been living in the area behind Noah's ark. The dog was actually being kept in the shack that is next to the coach park under the bridge near Noah's park.

The dog that committed the attack was off leash, and not wearing a muzzle. 

Any responsible dog owner who knows their dog is prone to aggressive behavior should keep it on a leash and have it wear a muzzle when in public. Most dogs on Park Island are very well behaved so I think it should be a fair and reasonable assumption for anyone living on Park to have, that if you see a dog NOT on a leash or NOT muzzled, that it is friendly/safe/happy/comfortable with human contact and with other dogs/children etc. If your dog does not fall into this…

Rules, rules, rules

I've heard it said that Park Island is "like a mini-version of Singapore", and I wonder when I hear this, if it is supposed to be a compliment or a criticism :)

Yes, like Singapore Island, Park Island is well organized, clean, has manicured gardens, lots of greenery, but in some ways it has achieved this through many rules that apply residents. And just like Singapore, some people are not fond of having so many rules that everyone needs to comply with.

I snapped but just a few examples a few signs I saw recently, but didn't include the one in the changing rooms of Blu Blu that reminds residents not to use the hairdryer for their pubic regions (yes, some older men do this, and also use it to dry their feet...). Ewww.
What do you think? Do we have too many rules, or some unnecessary ones in Park Island? 

Occupy Park Island

It seems that some Park Islanders have gotten behind the "Occupy Movement".
Various banners have been put up on Ma Wan, supported by our Councillor Justin Tseng.
Various residents have also hung up banners of support for the Hong Kong democracy movement in their homes.

Overall, Park Island remains a world away from the Occupy protests that are taking place on Hong Kong Island and Mongkok, although clearly as Hong Kong residents, everyone has a view on the current status of affairs in Hong Kong.

Ma Wa website

Apart from this Ma Wan Website there are some other new resources to share for information about Ma Wan / information about Park Island:

The is Ma Wan Online which provides a range of up to date information about Ma Wan and Park Island for residents, including the Ma Wan village. Well worth checking out and well done to the group of residents who are maintaining this site.

There is also a Ma Wan Online facebook page here: Ma Wan Facebook page.

Ma Wan viewed from above

Here is some pretty cool aerial film footage of Park Island and Ma Wan shot with a GoPro and a drone. 
I thought for a moment it might peep into my apartment but fortunately its not that invasive. Also has some pretty cool footage of the old village part of Ma Wan.

Which real estate agent to use for Park Island?

Which agent is the best for Ma Wan / Park Island is a question I get emailed many times.
When looking for an apartment on Park Island you can simply come over and visit one of the many estate agencies on Ma Wan. You will see they list apartment in their shop windows, both for rent and for sale and they will give you their recommendations.
There are also a number of good websites you can use to get an idea of availability and prices.
But as with every type of service, there are some agents who really do add greater value than others. The following property agents have been recognized for their quality of customer service, honesty, and expert knowledge of the Park Island estate and the Park Island property market.
Tim Hung - Midland Realty Email:, Phone: 68088950 Website: Midland Realty - Tim Hung
Bruce Lai - City Resort Property Limited. Email: Phone: 97183169, 92213207, 94525000, 34461386 Website: City Resort Property Limite…

Schools on Park Island

There are a wide range of schooling options either on, or near Park Island.
In Hong Kong many local parents are fanatical about getting their children into a "good" school. To me a "good" school is one where children can learn in a fun, free environment, whereas for local Hong Konger's the concept of "good schooling" is more focused on study, rote-learning, and "good grades".
Many Chinese parents are interested in schools that have a "disciplined" approach to stufy. Meanwhile, many expat parents want to have a school that offers children an enjoyable schooling, with exposure to Chinese language.
Parents who have chosen to move their family to Park Island typically are  already doing a great thing for their kids, by ensuring that have cleaner air, and open space to run around and play in a nice, save environment. There is a nice blend of local and ex-pat kids on Park Island, so kids are likely to be exposed to both English and Cantones…

What will Hong Kong Property Prices do in 2015?

Well, if we could accurately predict the future we of course would all be retired millionaires by now. But I think a very basic question Hong Kong property investors have to be asking themselves is what is the outlook for Hong Kong property prices in 2015. 
On the one hand we have strong demand for property, and very low interest rates. On the other hand we have cooling measures in place, the possibility of interest rates rising, and among other things, political unrest in Hong Kong due to the Occupy Central movement, and the desire of many Hong Kong citizens for true democracy.
If I had to make a guess I would think that overall, prices will keep rising in 2015 in Hong Kong. I can't see interest rates rising at all until late 2015, and even then they will rise only very very slightly, if at all. Property cooling measures are very unlikely to be increased, and they are more and more being "priced in" which means that eventually, when they are removed, the removal of proper…

New Park Island Bus Schedule - proposed connection from Park Island to Mongkok

There is currently a proposal for a new bus connection to Mongkok being considered.

If you support this proposal, please do attend the meeting on 19th August 2014. If you are unable to make it please express your support by sending an email or fax, noting your apartment address.

CLP Hong Kong pushing for Ma Wan to have an electric car charging station?

I heard an interesting item of news this week, being that CLP is considering building an electric car station on Ma Wan. Apparently a bunch of Government-type folks with notepads, maps, cameras etc were on the Ma Wan recently considering a site.
If anyone has any more details on this please post it here or let me know. I know residents of Park Island have proposed electric cars for Park Island as an option from time to time (and personally I would support this).
I wrote to the Transport Department asking for any information, and got little more than a "The case is currently under study, and will reply to you as soon as possible" response.

Centa-City Hong Kong Property Index.

A few people have emailed me noting that according to the Centa-City Hong Kong Property Index, Park Island was the largest gainer in terms of price increase over the last month. I have checked to confirm this and it seems to be correct.

Here is a snapshot of the overall Hong Kong Property market price graph:
And here is the data for Park Island property prices:

As we can see, Park Island prices jumped a massive 16.02% over the last month.

Transactions for Park Island are at a yearly high for the month of July already (according to agents I have spoken to), and July is of course still has a few weeks to go, so it seems July will have the largest volume of monthly transactions over the last year.

Basically what has happened is that the standoff between sellers who refused to reduce prices in light of cooling measures and increased stamp duty, and buyers who refuse to buy due to these increased transactions costs, has ended. Buyers, it seems have decided to grin and bear it, buying now …

Luxury resort plans for Ma Wan old village

Many Park Island residents have heard, "from someone who heard", that there might be plans for a luxury resort and marina at the Ma Wan old village. I'm going to provide a little more information on this.
It is my understanding that there are indeed plans to build such a resort on Ma Wan, along with quite extensive plans to develop (with appropriate conservation and restoration) the Ma Wan old village.
The development of the resort and old village are scheduled, at this stage, to take place between 2016 -2019.
I will provide more details in due course, but for now I wanted to show you where the resort will be.
The location marked with the red star is the area where Government approval has been given for the development of the resort. Apparently, approval requires the resort to have no more than 400 rooms, and requires, among other things, the developer to provide "sufficient road transport to and from the resort".
It is also dependent on "the completion of th…

Tsing Ma Bridge -The Bridge with Longest Span in Hong Kong

The iconic Tsing Ma Bridge, which can be viewed from Park Island, Ma Wan, is the longest bridge ever built in Hong Kong. 
The Bridge has a centre span of 1,377 meters and crosses the marine channel between Ma Wan and Tsing Yi. The main cables supporting the Bridge were made up of some 27,000 tonnes of steel wires. The total length of these wires is sufficient to stretch round the world 4 times.
The Tsing Ma Bridge forms a major part of the essential link in the expressway and airport railway connecting the Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok. 
On Tsing Yi, the Bridge links directly to an interchange with connections to the urban districts and, via the Ting Kau Bridge, to the Northwest New Territories.
On Ma Wan, high level viaducts extend from the Ma Wan end of the Bridge and cross the island to connect directly with the Kap Shiu Mun Bridge across the Kap Shui Mun channel.

Panda-manium - 1600 pandas come to vist Hong Kong

1600 pandas had a great time on the beach of Park Island / Ma Wan recently, and were warmly welcomed by Park Island residents.
The pandas, created by French artist Paulo Grangeon in collaboration with the World Wide Fund for Nature, are a protest work from the artist about the dwindling panda population.
Each paper panda represents a real panda. In 2004, the WWF estimated that only 1,600 pandas inhabit the planet and that the species is endangered. 
The pandas have already visited France, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Taiwan as part of a world tour. Their arrival in Hong Kong brings them closer to the natural home of real pandas, in the bamboo forests of western China. 
Here's a nice little video of the 1600 pandas arriving in Hong Kong.
Below are a few photos of the pandas on the beach at Park Island.

Outlook for the Hong Kong Property market 2014. Are HK property prices going up again?

I've received a number of emails since my last update on this blog, asking if Hong Kong property prices will start to rise again.
Currently, by applying a mathematical calculation of cost of rent vs cost to borrow, Hong Kong property is relatively fairly priced. That is, not excessively overpriced, nor excessively under priced.
In my mind, the biggest deciding factor is still:
1) How long the Fed will keep interest rates at current levels; and
2) To what extent the property cooling measures will be eased in Hong Kong. That is, will they be eased prior to the Fed increasing interest rates, in tandem with the Fed increasing interest rates, or at a lag in time from the time the Fed increasing interest rates.
If you knew the answer to these questions you could with great certainty make money (or prevent losing money) with regard to investing in property in Hong Kong.
My prediction is still that the cooling measures will be eased in Hong Kong in tandem with the Fed increasing interest rates.…

An update on private car access for Park Island Residents - implications of the Tuen Mun - Chek Lap Kok Link

I've written on the topic of car access to Park Island for residents before and it is always a topic of interest, both to Park Island residents who prefer not to have car access (due to wanting to limit public access/noise/pollution etc) to Park Island, and those who prefer to have cars, due to both the convenience and the likely significant boost in property prices that would undoubtedly result (welcomed by owners, but no so much by those of who rent apartments on Park Island.).


I recently received an interesting "unofficial" update today from a senior Hong Kong Transport Department official that I will now share.
As some of you may know, in the past, one main reason cited for not allowing private cars for residents of Park Island has been that the Transport Department had concerns about the effect on traffic congestion over the Tsing Ma Bridge and the Kap Shui Mun Bridge that conn…