Outlook for borrowing rates remains exceedingly low. US treasury yields are now below 1% for next 5 years. HIBOR is at record lows, and anyone smart to lock in HIBOR loans will have access to cheap financing for years to come.
What is making it harder for new buyers though is the requirement to put down a deposit of 50% to get a mortgage.
As for property prices in HK, they remain close to record highs (both to rent and to buy).
"7 minutes from ferry to Center"? At a gallop. I'm a fast walker and took me 5 from just inside IFC (Connaught Road side) exit to Queens Road Central escalator (at bottom of 100 QRC) yesterday. I'm sure it would take more than 2 mins from that exit to the ferry terminal for P I.
Edit: I'm not familiar with Park Island, are all the accomodations right on top of the ferry port there then?
Last edited by Satay Sue; 09-11-2011 at 10:12 AM.
Thank you all for your valuable input. I think ultimately we will need to come and look at the various areas (and what is available for how much in each) before we will really know what we want to go for -- but this helps with a shortlist of areas to explore.
It sounds like West Kowloon/Olympic (Florient Rise, Island Harvourview, Park Avenue and maybe One Silversea etc) are worth exploring for the newbuild, facilities, good commute and lower rents -- but we should watch out for what it's like for pushchair access and being connected to street life.
The more traditional expat districts of Happy Valley, Mid-levels etc also sound worth exploring, but we probably won't get much for our money (the suggestions for which roads in Mid-levels to look at are valuable though).
I think Park Island we will park for now -- maybe something to consider along with Discover Bay once we've spent a year living somewhere more central if we then decide to move further out for a bit more space.
A general question -- there was some discussion of property prices -- are prices still rising rapidly in HK, and what is the feeling for what the outlook is like? Reading the international papers from the UK, you see quite a bit of discussion of whether China's property bubble is going to burst (and what impact that might have on the Chinese economy), but don't see anything specifically on HK, which I imagine is a distinct market. Any thoughts?
Prices have been flat to falling slightly for a few months. The volume of transactions has fallen to record lows, indicating a lot of nervousness in the market. My personal view is prices will collapse and fall a long way from the current, insane levels. Many others don't share my view as they think mainland buying has changed the paradigm... the most dangerous phrase in investment is "this time it's different!".
To the OP, the other thing to remember about randy's advice is that he owns half of Park Island and is probably desperate to rent them out before rents decrease.
If you are working in the Center, dont rule out Discovery Bay. Its a nice relaxing ferry commute where you can enjoy free wifi, quite a lot of space to read newspaper, drink coffee, etc. Certainly more enjoyable than bus or MTR. Also its a nice air conditioned walk through IFC from the ferry to the Center, but as SS points out its a bit longer than 7 minutes.
However, having said the above, I moved from DB to Olympic because there are no school places for my kids in DB. Now my kids are going to the Aussie school in Kowloon Tong. But if you only have a baby, you will be fine in DB for a couple of years and even kindergarten is fine. The trouble starts at year 1.
I used to live in Chianti at the far end of DB, and worked at the Center. It used to take me an hour door to door, including the internal DB bus, waiting for the ferry, walking through IFC. But as I said, it's about the most relaxing commute you can imagine. If you live closer to DB ferry pier (highly recommended), you can probably do it in 45 mins. The inconvenience really is having to stick a ferry timetable behind your door and discipline yourself to leave at a certain time in order to catch a certain ferry, otherwise having to wait 30 minutes (off peak) or I think 15 mins (peak) to catch the next one.