Hong Kong’s flowering art scene and the recent boom of the Chinese and Asian art market has attracted major international galleries to the city, such as Gagosian, Pearl Lam, White Cube and soon Lehmann Maupin, all in the Central neighbourhood. Art Basel is also holding its first Asian fair here from 23 to 26 May, taking over for the local ART HK fair. And across the harbour, construction of the West Kowloon Cultural District is set to begin this year with the first phase completed by 2020. The district will cover an area of 100 acres (the master plan was designed by Foster + Partners) and contain 17 cultural and performing arts venues, including the Xiqu Centre, designed specifically for Chinese opera, and M+, a museum of visual culture. In addition, a high-speed rail to Shanghai and Beijing will depart from the district.
Neighbourhoods such as hip Sheung Wan and Sai Ying Pun, west of Central, and industrial Wong Chuk Hang on the south side of Hong Kong Island have seen an influx of gallerists, artists and chefs. “These areas have been attractive because of improvements in public transport, such as the extension of the MTR,” said Chris Liem, owner of Engel & Völkers Hong Kong. New buildings, such as Centre Stage in Sheung Wan andIsland Crest in Sai Ying Pun, have proved extremely popular with residents who want to be near the new restaurants, cafes and shops in these areas, but still have easy access to Central.
“Rental prices are dependent on the location, age and quality of the building,” Liem said. “But generally rent on a 750sqft apartment on Hong Kong Island is around 35 Hong Kong dollars per square foot.” Buyers can expect to pay around 12,000 Hong Kong dollars per square foot for a similar flat.