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HK Island vs Kowloon - where to live ??

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  1. #1

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    HK Island vs Kowloon - where to live ??

    Hi everyone,

    My boyfriend and I have just moved to Hong Kong with work. We are looking for a 1bdr apartment for around 14-18k. We both work in Kowloon Tong but can't seem to decide where the best place would be to live. From reading previous posts, Sheung Wan or Mong Kok seem good options.

    As for likes/dislikes, we like going out so we don't want to be too far from the action but we also like living somewhere that has food shops, small eating places and sports facilities nearby. Also, we don't want our commute to be more than about 30mins to Kowloon Tong.

    Any thoughts on where might be a good compromise?


  2. #2
    Mat
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    Quote Originally Posted by ag361
    Hi everyone,

    My boyfriend and I have just moved to Hong Kong with work. We are looking for a 1bdr apartment for around 14-18k. We both work in Kowloon Tong but can't seem to decide where the best place would be to live. From reading previous posts, Sheung Wan or Mong Kok seem good options.

    As for likes/dislikes, we like going out so we don't want to be too far from the action but we also like living somewhere that has food shops, small eating places and sports facilities nearby. Also, we don't want our commute to be more than about 30mins to Kowloon Tong.

    Any thoughts on where might be a good compromise?
    HungHom fits the bill (15/20mn to KT max) and for 14/18K you have a lot of options.

  3. #3

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    I live nearby Jordon station it's only a few stops to central or Causeway Bay etc. For Kowloon Tong it would be only a short MTR ride or bus to work. If I go out to the island for a bit of fun and catch a taxi back it generally costs around $60-$70 return late at night or you can catch the minibus that leaves from the LKF every 5-10 mins late at night for $10 or so.

    For $14-$18k you should be able to get a nice 2 bedroom place in the area, or for around $9-$12k you will get a OK place which would be acceptable though not of high standard. Many walkups available but a number of good places with views also available for around that price you want.


  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ag361
    Hi everyone,

    My boyfriend and I have just moved to Hong Kong with work. We are looking for a 1bdr apartment for around 14-18k. We both work in Kowloon Tong but can't seem to decide where the best place would be to live. From reading previous posts, Sheung Wan or Mong Kok seem good options.

    As for likes/dislikes, we like going out so we don't want to be too far from the action but we also like living somewhere that has food shops, small eating places and sports facilities nearby. Also, we don't want our commute to be more than about 30mins to Kowloon Tong.

    Any thoughts on where might be a good compromise?
    Why not buy a HK$5 million, 500-600 sqft 2-bed apartment in Parc Oasis near Festival Walk? I analysed one such apartment this weekend, but just purely as an investment not to live in.

    The interest payments on your mortgage will be substantially less than any rental, and you'll be building up equity in an appreciating asset. Of course, you'll need to get a deposit together, and I don't know what your options are in that respect (might have to get creative).

    Say you borrow HK$3 million (so you'll need just over HK$2 million as a deposit and for fees, which may not be as big as it first sounds). Your total monthly repayment over 25 years (at an assumed 1.5% pa interest rate which is quite a bit higher than many current mortgage offerings) will be around HK$12,000. Only HK$3,750 of that will be lost on interest. A full HK$8,250 will go directly into your equity, less some management fees and rates which aren't going to be that substantial.

    Here's a mortgage calculator you might like to play with: HK Mortgage Calculator. Also keep in mind that owner-occupied mortgage interest in Hong Kong is tax deductible for many salary-earners

    This kind of apartment would seem to meet most of your requirements (Festival Walk is a busy place and at the centre of HK's transport network). Later, you could very conservatively rent it out for more than HK$15,000 pm (these smaller flats in Parc Oasis are extremely popular with locals so you'll have a deep rental market). And most importantly, you'll be on your way to building some net worth.

    This is probably not the kind of response you were expecting and you're likely to be concerned it's a little too quick to head down the buying path (and that property prices are high any way). But don't dismiss this opportunity too quickly.

    If it were easy to take a step like this, everyone would be doing it - but they're not because it takes courage, commitment and creativity, which is a pretty rare combination.

    And if your boyfriend is not so keen, why not buy the place yourself.
    Last edited by John Doe Jr; 04-01-2011 at 11:05 AM.

  5. #5

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    mong kok is not a nice place to live, noisy, polluted, some parts seedy, however, some parts of tai tsui kok are nice.

    sheung wan is old, but a bit more reasonable priced than other parts of hk island (apart some from eastern parts)

    would consider harbour view horizon service apartments in hung hom (5-7 mins from hung hom station) or harbour place (10 mins from hung station) for a more peaceful and less crowded place as well as convenice, also alot more buck for the dollar than hk island

    how about shatin or taiwai, as you will get more value for the money as well as better convenice to your workplace.


  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Doe Jr
    If it were easy to take a step like this, everyone would be doing it - but they're not because it takes courage, commitment and creativity, which is a pretty rare combination.

    LOL...you make it sound like there is no risk. what about a market crash (like everyone is predicting)? what happens to tieing up all their savings into a single investment, and therefore being dependent on a single sale if something comes up and they need to move their money.

    of course...if you have $3M just sitting in a savings account with nothing to do with and have lots of money elsewhere that can be moved around should anything go wrong...then its not a big deal..... but dont naturally assume that buying a flat because the mortage is low auto assumes a positive investment.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Doe Jr
    If it were easy to take a step like this, everyone would be doing it - but they're not because it takes courage, commitment and creativity, which is a pretty rare combination.
    If it were sensible, everyone would be doing it. Your ideas of constant price appreciation rely on the greater fool theory, and eventually we run out of fools. Hong Kong property is overpriced on every metric, and anyone buying at these prices is setting themselves up for a very big fall. Interest rates won't stay at 1.5%, probably not even for all of 2011.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by BenderBends
    LOL...you make it sound like there is no risk. what about a market crash (like everyone is predicting)? what happens to tieing up all their savings into a single investment, and therefore being dependent on a single sale if something comes up and they need to move their money.

    of course...if you have $3M just sitting in a savings account with nothing to do with and have lots of money elsewhere that can be moved around should anything go wrong...then its not a big deal..... but dont naturally assume that buying a flat because the mortage is low auto assumes a positive investment.
    BenderBends and TheBrit, I'm not forcing anyone to do anything. I simply laid out an option that the OP might like to consider. If you think that my doing so is funny or offensive, then I apologise. I can now see that your contributions are far more valuable.

    Risky? Well, we each have our own idea of risk and we must live with that. But don't assume that everyone is as risk averse as you may be. I have met many people who do nothing because they are scared of what could go wrong, and they are often very miserable and unfulfilled individuals. I sincerely hope you are not amongst them.

    Personally, I do not think that owning your own home is risky. If prices fall, it does not have to affect you - unless you regret not being able to buy cheaper later, though of course waiting for such opportunities involves risk. Sometimes being too greedy waiting for good deals to come along can backfire on you. Particularly when we're talking about a place to live, which is different from a pure investment decision.

    Interest rates will surely rise. No-one is saying they won't. It is obvious that some projections of affordability need to be taken into account. But is that a reason to dismiss the idea entirely? Maybe you are right and no-one should ever buy their own home because interest rates might go up. Why not look at like, "Well, now interest rates are low, and though they are bound to rise at least I'll get some lower mortgage payments at the start. That sounds like a benefit."

    By your logic, when interest rates go up, then will be a better time to buy.

    And then there is the big fall in prices you're predicting. I hope you get to see it and can profit from it. For my own home, I've rented enough to know the difference between having something your building up and can call your own rather than paying someone else's mortgage. Remember, I am not talking about this as an investment proposition. I have other ideas in that area, but alas the same people like to attack my thoughts/suggestions there as well ...

    I have little doubt that if you need to rent out such a flat in the future, the rental will keep pace with inflation which I consider a bigger issue than market prices falling. Buying in a place for strong rental demand (locally fuelled, not by expats), you have a degree of protection that some people might consider sufficient. If you do not agree, then that's fine.

    Regarding "tying up savings" in your home, you can certainly look at this negatively. And of course if you turn around and need to sell in a heavily depressed market, then that will be no cause for celebration. But this is ultimately a matter of judgment that an individual must make based on their life experience and outlook. Like I said, the combination of courage, commitment and creativity is rare.

    What I think is LOL (but in a kind of sad way) is that I am the only person to have mentioned this option and when I do other people excitedly jump up and down and denounce my attempt to be helpful. At least this exchange should add some value for others to think about.

    I apologise once again to all readers, including the OP, and especially to BenderBends and TheBrit for the high-blood pressure caused.
    pushiv likes this.

  9. #9

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    Outside of buying government bonds or putting your cash in the bank to sit there, buying your own home is the least risky investment most people can make so I don't think this recommendation is out of the ordinary.

    Only problem is getting the $3million deposit which pushes most people out of the market and just creates a buy/sell mentality. People entering the market can only get this kind of cash from the parents or relatives.


  10. #10

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    The problem with purchasing if you are an expat in HK is that you might not stay long and might have no control over your exit - making property riskier than if you "live" somewhere and can at least use it for accommodation for the foreseeable future.

    Regarding the OP's question - I'd stay in Kowloon. They money you save in accommodation will more than offset the odd taxi home after a night out, and most nights are "work nights" anyway so better to live near work and "commute" to the night out than the other way around. Cheaper and more convenient. That's my 2c.


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