Three unprecedented infrastructure projects that improve Hong Kong’s links to Mainland China will be completed by the end of 2018. This will allow the 68 million people and major cities of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Macau/Zhuhai, and Guangzhou to be more connected than ever before. The projects will massively change the dynamics of the Hong Kong and Greater Bay Area property markets.
- Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, a highspeed railway line, will be extended from Futian Station in Shenzhen to West Kowloon in Hong Kong. The train will slash travel times between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, with the trip expected to take only 14 minutes. The Hong Kong to Guangzhou travel time is expected to be cut by more than half to only 48 minutes. Co-location of immigration and customs at West Kowloon will further reduce the time and hassle of travel between the cities.
- Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge connects Hong Kong International Airport and Tung Chung on Lantau Island to the coast of Macau and Zhuhai. This will change the spatial landscape of the three connected cities by allowing individuals and cargo to travel across the bay without the hassle of a boat ride. The Hong Kong airport currently has three congested runways and may be unable to build a fourth. The bridge presents the possibility for the Zhuhai airport to act as Hong Kong’s “fourth runway”.
- Northern Lian Tang/Heung Yuen Wai Checkpoint in Ta Kwu Ling provides another linkage between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. It will help to ease the congestion at other checkpoints connecting the two cities.
The Greater Bay Area Effect
After the recent opening of the South Island MTR Line in 2017, SCMP reported that demand for property surged in the South Island area. This is what is referred to as the ‘MTR Effect’, when new MTR station developments cause property demand to escalate. Property development then increases in the area as developers seek to exploit the rising interest in the area.
The development of convenient transit infrastructure is strongly correlated with increased demand and development. As it becomes easier to access an area, the perceived value of property will increase as well. Soon, thanks to these Greater Bay Area transportation projects there will be another ‘MTR Effect’, but on a much larger scale – the ‘Greater Bay Area Effect’.
Hong Kong Property Winners
Following the aforementioned trend, Spacious expects significant impacts to the areas most affected by these new links. Commercial and residential property demand is most likely to rise in the areas around the West Kowloon Terminus. Neighborhoods including West Kowloon, Yau Ma Tei, Jordan, and Tsim Sha Tsui should see upward pricing pressure. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge will likely lead to increased interest in Lantau Island. Tung Chung and areas already conveniently linked to the HKG Airport such as Tsing Yi and Tsuen Wan should perform well.
Future rail projects will create even more connections between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. These projects are concentrated in the western region of Hong Kong. As such, the nearby towns of Tuen Mun and Hung Shui Kiu should be future beneficiaries. The future bridge between Chep Lap Kok and Tuen Mun presents another reason Tuen Mun is poised for strength.
Greater Bay Area Property Winners
Affordability and yields are at record lows in Hong Kong and apartments becoming smaller and smaller. The improved linkage between Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area will boost property demand in relatively lower cost areas like Zhuhai and Zhongshan. Spacious has already seen an increase in marketing to Hong Kong buyers ahead of completion of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge. Demand from Hong Kong buyers has been increasing as well. In Shenzhen, neighborhoods around Futian should see an increase in demand as those working in Hong Kong may now choose to commute from Shenzhen.
Overseas Property Winners
The greater connectivity provided by the Greater Bay Area infrastructure projects will cement Hong Kong’s position as Asia’s transportation hub. Traveling to the Mainland via Hong Kong will become even easier as will traveling overseas from Southern China. We expect this will continue to drive demand from Greater China and Hong Kong for overseas properties in popular education, investment and second home destinations like Australia, the UK, and South East Asia.
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