Is now the time to buy on Lantau?

With its healthy lifestyle and friendly community, Lantau has long been one of the most popular places to live in Hong Kong - and local property experts say the interest is increasing, making it a solid investment opportunity for the discerning buyer.

Home Solutions Managing Director Kelly Merrick said Lantau was cheaper than other parts of Hong Kong, yet just a 30-minute ferry ride to Central, attracting increasing numbers of people looking for a lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle.

As a result, she said the Lantau property market was expanding quickly and Lantau prices were reflecting this growth.

"Over the last year we have seen rental properties under $20,000 per month increase by approximately 20 per cent. Higher end rental properties have increased by about 10 per cent," she said.

"Sale prices, in the last year, have increased about 10 per cent to 15 per cent for flats and villas, depending on their location, and village houses have increased between 5 per cent and 10 per cent, depending on the villages and locations.

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"Over the last three years, sale prices of properties have increased by as much as 50 per cent, in some cases, for flats and villas, and about 20 per cent to 25 per cent for village houses."

She said South Lantau and Tung Chung were popular in particular, with larger developments like WHITESANDS, Botanica Bay and The Visionary coming on the market.

Lifestyle Homes director Roenel Turner said there was great confidence in the Lantau property market. Prices were still lower per square foot than on Hong Kong Island but Lantau's popularity might mean prices will catch up.

"It seems to be catching up in certain areas," she said. "As long as there is confidence in the market the prices will continue to increase. If you are in a financial position to buy, then yes I would buy instead of renting."

Headland Homes director Christine King predicted a significant increase in property prices on Lantau with the completion of the Hong Kong - Zhuhai - Macao Bridge project, along with the Tung Chung North MTR project.

"There is very little disadvantage to a growing market from an investment perspective," she said. "With land becoming more and more restricted there is only room for the market to grow.

"I would recommend Discovery Bay as it still has room to grow in the market - as a purchaser or leaser there are a lot of bonuses to being on this end of the city."

Christine said Lantau offered a variety of lifestyle options.

"Know what you want before you come here, Lantau is a big island," she said. "If you want a house for cheap, choose South Lantau. If you want to be more connected, go for Discovery Bay."

OKAY.com Residential Division Associate Director Natalie Leslie predicted Discovery Bay in particular would always be a safe investment in the Hong Kong market.

"Even if Hong Kong dips, Discovery Bay does not dip," she said. "I always say DB is a bubble within a bubble."

She said the bracket under $8m had performed extremely well in the DB over the last year and there were a lot of buyers in the DB market at the moment.

She said buyers from all over Hong Kong were looking at DB due to its excellent lifestyle.

"DB is a resort - that's the selling point," she said. "People come from Hong Kong and they like the lifestyle - there's the golf course and the residents' clubs which are cheaper than the ones in Hong Kong. It also offers freedom for the children. It has massive appeal."

Photograph courtesy Wikimedia Images

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