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Is Sai Kung the ultimate expat heaven?

Sai Kung expat heaven

Is Sai Kung the ultimate expat heaven?

Every year more and more expat who are moving to Hong Kong choose Sai Kung as their expat destination.. Sai Kung is one of the most beautiful and exotic areas in the world.

As lot of expats come from different places like the UK, the US, and other European countries, it may be difficult for them to adjust to the high-density cityscape of Hong Kong. The good news for these expats is that Hong Kong constitutes of islands and a peninsula, meaning they can have the option of staying in a coastline neighborhood like Sai Kung that can offer a relaxing view of the waters.

Sai Kung might not be the easiest area to get to, as the bus routes are often slow and winding. But the picturesque hikes and gorgeous beaches make it worth the effort. If you are planning a trip to East Asia, do not bother to go anywhere else because Sai Kung has it all!

Not to mention one of the good things about Sai Kung at the moment for people trying to avoid the main protest is that there is none in Sai Kung.

 

What are the star attractions in Sai Kung?

Sai Kung offers numerous excellent outdoor water sports including the see-through kayaking and snorkeling. If you don’t feel like staying in the city, you can sunbathe, and swim in beaches like Pak Lap Wan and Hoi Ha Wan. You could even choose to go hiking at the West Country Park or Sai Kung East.

If you are a dog parent, you will be able to spend the day with your furry friend as Sai Kung is a super pet-friendly place with an abundance of pet facilities like swimming pools and dog parks with outdoor seating.

And this isn’t all… it is also home to the amazing authentic local desserts and al fresco seafood restaurants. Right next to the sea, there is a row of seafood restaurants along the promenade for you to pick and choose whatever you want to eat, straight from the fishing tanks. You’ll even be able to buy all sorts of shellfish and other fishes from the fishing boats and cook them wherever you prefer to eat. Another favorite for most visitors and residents of Sai Kung is the Thai food. Other cuisines that are available are British, French, Italian, Chinese, and Mediterranean, and the list goes on and on.

 

10 exciting things to know before you move to Sai Kung.

Don’t know where to start?

Here are a few things about Sai Kung that will definitely excite you about your new home.

 

  1. Beauty at its best

Sai Kung is one of the most beautiful places in Asia and it attracts a lot of outdoor enthusiasts with its appealing outdoor activities. It is blessed with abundant green spaces and a beautiful coastline while it is a myriad of lovely beaches and hiking trails along its country park,  the starfish and bouncing fish on the beach, the seahorses in the sea, the brown fish owl that flies overhead to the mangroves in the estuary, the monkeys in the bush, the barking deer sound we hear at night .

The highlights also include Tai Long Wan beach and other areas around Clear Water Bay.

 

  1. A massive expat community

Sai Kung has arguably one of the biggest expat communities in East Asia. It provides the option of living in an exotic coastline neighborhood that offers a gorgeous view of the waters and a relaxing environment. It also has a relatively decent number of low-density residential developments that are built over the previous few years like Park Mediterranean and The Mediterranean, built and managed by Sino Group.

 

  1. Numerous different delicacies to savor

Sai Kung town is very close to the sea which makes it the favorite spot for seafood lovers. The visitors will be able to feast on seafood along the waterfront or enjoy various delicacies at the western-style pubs and restaurants that are tailored to the appetite of the large expat community in the neighborhood.

 

  1. Everything is pretty convenient

When comparing with other popular expat areas like Lantau, Sai Kung tends to enjoy more in terms of medical care, schooling, shopping, and weekend activities. Other major daily amenities like government offices, drugstores, supermarkets, and clinics, etc. are within easy reach in Sai Kung town.

 

  1. Tons of recreational activities to enjoy

You will find plenty of options for recreational activities in Sai Kung including different weekend markets along the waterfront, sports clubs for children, teens, and adults and some of the most pristine hiking and beaches in Hong Kong. In summer, most people tend to hire small boats to catch cuttlefish, which is one of the preferred recreational activities for local residents. You will be able to take the water taxis, that locals call sampans and kaitos from the two public piers to visit Yim Tin Tsai, Trio Beach, and the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark and Astropark for those who want to explore the natural beauty of Sai Kung.

 

  1. Nothing is ever too far away

Sai Kung is a quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city served by 24 hours buses that connect you to Choi Hung, Mong Kok, Diamond Hill, Kowloon Bay, Tseung Kwan O. New developments  like The Mediterranean in Tai Mong Tsai Road, developed by Sino, also run limousine services and complimentary buses to Hang Hau MTR station, which is a 25-minute ride to Central.

 

  1. Highly spacious living space

Similar to other new places in the new territories, Sai Kung is filled with traditional three-storey village houses, that are generally more spacious compared with most high-rise buildings. One of the highly appealing features of those houses is that they all come with either a large terrace or a balcony, with some that can include a big private swimming pool and a wall gated garden .

If the village houses are not your cup of tea , you can consider newer building.

Sai Kung is also becoming a popular district for new developments.

 

  1. Pet-friendly neighborhoods

Sai Kung is definitely a pet-friendly area, not just because of its massive green spaces for pets to run about, but it also has numerous animal clinics, rescue dogs associations, cafes and outdoor restaurants that welcome not just you but your pets as well. For example, Sai Kung Little Cove Espresso has an open outdoor café, to be the perfect place for you and your pet to settle in for the afternoon and relax with a cup of gourmet-style coffee.

Kau Sai Chau Golf Couse
Kau Sai Chau Golf Couse
  1. Sai Kung Golf Island

    You and your family will never feel bored, “As a Sai Kung golfer, it’s nice to have one of Hong Kong’s most beautiful golf course right in our own backyard. Kau Sai Chau is Hong Kong’s only public golf course as well.” Eastmount Property Agency Manager Marco said.

  2. Hong Kong Golf & Tennis Academy

    The largest sport academy in Hong Kong, a new benchmark in training facility.

The management has ensured to cover different aspects within their facilities to forge the ‘perfect ecosystem’ that will guarantee a trustworthy passage for talented athletes towards the ultimate success.

Now professional players and Sai Kung Expat are like to stay on-site on the Academy campus regularly, where pools, restaurants and leisure pursuits create a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere for everyone to feel like home.

 

Eastmount Property Agency Limited 27910498 / 96677186

 

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Oxfam Trialwalker | Start at Sai Kung Country Park

Oxfam Trailwalker

Oxfam Trialwalker History -Start at Sai Kung Country Park

Hong Kongs oldest ultramarathon since 1986, Oxfam Trailwalker  is one of the Hong Kong largest and longest-running hiking events. The participants need to finish a 100km trail walk over the Maclehose trail, which has total 8 different sections , starting from the middle of The Sai Kung Country Park and finishing in Tuen Mun on the opposite side of Kowloon. Plucky participants taking over the mountains of the New Territories and have 48 hours to complete the race. Except the race that you can feel extra special about it because its very meaningful   – over the years, the event has raised over $575 million to support Oxfams various poverty alleviation and emergency relief projects in Africa and Asia. Registration is open until October 15.

Cancelled Oxfam Trailwalker in 2019

Unfortunately , The 100km Oxfam Trailwalker has been cancelled because of a result of increasingly violent pro-democracy demonstrations in the city.  For the safety reasons, the 5,000 participants and their supporting teams travel back and forth to the trails over the weekend.As the entire public transport facilities like MTR , Tunnel, Road, were disabled by protests and unable to Sai Kung country park . And after a serious deliberation, we  made the extremely tough decision of cancelling this years Oxfam Trailwalker.

Other Sport events were also cancelled or postponed

The current social unrest has caused the cancellation or postponement of a number of sporting events, including the Prudential Hong Kong Open tennis tournament, the 2020 Hong Kong Formula E-Prix, the The Hong Kong ASTC Sprint Triathlon Asian Cup, the Asian Aquathlon Championships, the Cross Harbour Swim, the Hammer Cyclothon and the Hong Kong Squash Open, and today, the Happy Valley horse races.

Runners did not give up

Owing to the fact that The Oxfam Trialwalker was cancelled ,many competitors were disappointed but some were still pursuing their original goals. On Friday morning, when the race was supposed to start at Sai Kung Country Park, hundreds of runners headed to Sai Kung to take on the 100km course anyway.

Whats a pity , not only did many runners spend long time training and great effort  for this run , but most of them also flied across the globe to join this mesmerizing event in purpose.This is why there was never look back they would proceed to run .

On Friday morning, when the race was supposed to start, many runners is  coming together and committed to run , their goal is to complete the 100Km trial.

 

Eastmount Property Agency limited 27910498 /96677186

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Mortgage in Hong Kong New Rules

Hong Kong mortgage Rules are changing.

With more than 20 years covering Sai Kung and ClearWaterBay areas, our agency always pays attention to what’s going on in the real estate market. After Hong Kong’s housing prices increased more than 200% in the last ten years, many residents became unable to afford homes or to find properties under the value limit eligible for a 10% down payment. Home prices in Hong Kong’s secondary market, despite the recent street protests, went up to a record high, 500% up compared to 2003 following the Sars outbreak.

Mortgage in Hong Kong, what are the new rules?

Now Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam announced plans to relax mortgage rules to help first-time home buyers. What does it mean:

For mortgage loans up to 90% loan-to-value (LTV) ratio applicable to first-time homebuyers (provided mortgagors are not holding any residential properties in Hong Kong at the time of applying for mortgage insurance), the maximum property value is getting raised to HK$8 million, versus HK$4 million previously.

Therefore first-time home buyers will be able to buy more expensive homes with a down payment of just 10%. The new measure is applicable to completed self use private residential properties under personal ownership.

The maximum property value eligible for mortgage loans up to 80% loan-to-value (LTV) ratio will also be raised from HK$6 million to HK$10 million.

For homebuyers taking mortgage loans with property values going beyond the existing caps (i.e. HK$10 million for mortgage loans up to 80% LTV ratio and HK$8 million for mortgage loans up to 90% LTV ratio), an additional 15% premium for mortgage insurance will be charged, which can be paid together on a monthly basis with the mortgage repayment.

Until the new policy, general homebuyers had to pass stress tests which were set by banks and could spend up to half of their monthly income on mortgage repayments.

With the new measure first-time homebuyers can be excluded from the stress test and still be eligible for up to 90% loans (subject to the additional 15 per cent premium for mortgage insurance).

The rules only apply to the buyers covered by the Mortgage Insurance Programme, a plan issued by the Government to assist first-time home buyers.

Is this good news for you?

As an example, with this new rule, with a 90% mortgage a buyer of an HK$8 million property in Sai Kung (or elsewhere in Hong Kong) will have his initial down-payment falling to HK$800,000, versus HK$2.4 million previously.

Now considering an average mortgage rate of 2.6% on a 30-year loan, for the above example the monthly repayment will still rise to HK$29,000.

However as the monthly mortgage payment can’t exceed 50% of the borrower’s household income, this scenario would require a monthly salary or income of HK$58,000, while the Hong Kong’s average monthly income is just about HK$17,500 (from the government data).

Therefore the new rule may raise concerns that some people could be taking on too much risk, as someone might be able to afford the down payment for their property (now as little as 10%), however with no certainty they will be able to afford the mortgage payments afterwards.

With the the new policy transactions on properties valued below HK$10 million are expected to increase by 20%, as more people will be able to afford a down payment. However without an increase in the total housing supply housing prices may rise even more.

Another aspect that needs to be watched out is the market movements. Despite home prices in Hong Kong being at a record high, someone might still be buying a property at a high point in the market today and (as already observed, not be totally safe from an economic downturn following some market movements), could end up getting stuck with negative equity, meaning the value of the property is becoming less than the outstanding balance on the loan taken.

Consequently as much as the new mortgage rules are attractive and will definitely help out first time home buyers, before taking a mortgage right away, step back for a moment, think, consider your debt to income ratio and ensure you will have the ability to pay up your monthly installments , understand the market you’re buying in, and if you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to talk to a mortgage advisor.

For enquiries on properties up to HK$10 million in Sai Kung and ClearWaterBay, just contact our team:

Eastmount property agency limited – 27910498 / 96677186

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