Self build property in HK?

    not sure a forum for expats? is the best place to ask lol but having searched on here and finding this thread
it seems the members here still know alot more than i do!

ok so i'm trying to find out more info on building your own house/flat in hk,
i'm lucky enough that my father owns inherited land in his village in yuen long,
and along with my 2 brothers&sister we have thought about building on the land
maybe a apartment each , now we dont own our own property here in the uk ,rocketing prices have made it very difficult for FTB's.
 So we've figured if the price is right and with the £/hk$ exchange rate at it's best in years we should make use of the land in hk first before someone else builds on there.

question is how much would we be looking at in term's of cost to build 4 small apartments? and roughly what would they be worth once completed? how much per month could they be rented out at? 


Proof of ownership

Hi there,

I would say it's better to get your deeds or anything else in order to prove your family really own the land in case the lot assigned to your family had been occupied by somebody else now. Even if it is not it's worth checking with the village elders before you proceed.

Also practically speaking you are not building your own village houses as most likely you would be hiring a certified contractor to do it. :-) There are still quite a bit of regulations to follow and you are going to deal with a lot of Government departments.


Buying/developing property in HK

I've just discovered a blog, called Beneath the Peak, by Chris Dillon, a Canadian businessman living and working here in HK who's a specialist in just this area.

He's got a forthcoming book on just this subject, and you can read a .pdf version of one of its chapters here. I did, and it's good stuff.

although we havent clarified

although we havent clarified the paper work the other villagers do seem to acknowledge the land belonged to my great-grandfather, i know that doesnt mean much when everything is so cut throat in hk;P, i mean if the chance arises i know the locals wont have a problem with treading on our toes to get the land.

I know we still have a lot of planning to do and with so many things we still need to cover, but for me the main thing is the costs involved .

Anyway my father is due to visit hk at xmas so hopefully he can verify the papers and get some solid estimates from a few building contractors.

thanks for the comments.

building cost

I've heard that it costs around HK$1000 per square foot for construction.

  Get a HKID card because


Get a HKID card because it will make things easier in general. 


Get your deeds sorted out. Ownership of the land is crucial.


 I think girls are not entitled to a share of the land - the law might have changed on this a few years ago so don't quote me.


Work out the size of the land. If it's only 700 sqfeet or less, then you'll have a hard time fitting four apartments on it. You're only allowed to have a ximum of three floors (g/f, 1/f, 2/f)


What's it worth in Yuen Long? Well, YL is pretty remote so I would hazard 4k HKD per month for rental. Your father can check with the local property agency prices of aprtments of similar size and rental. I think it would hard selling them basically because of less desirable location. 


Do be careful about construction quality. 

thanks for the replies

thanks for the replies again, ok having thought about it some more i still think this could work out well, i mean if i dont put my money into this project i will probably buy in the uk which would mean taking out a £100k plus mortgage!:( gulp.

 can i ask about the hk id card? it's not something that i can get is it? having not been born in h.k.

The easiest way i think would be for my father to see to the paper work and supervising of the building contractor because he  holds  a HK passport .

our plan would be a 3-storey building .With each floor being approx 700sq/ft in size, could each floor be worth any where near HKD1'400000 on the open market once completed ? i may be tempted to try sell as soon as completed because it seems house buyers in hk consider any building thats not new to be less desirable?.

the location is a little worring though .... a small village in a part of yuen long where  no cars can get access to !

 having said that..... my uncles who have lived in the u.k for the past 20years had their village houses built about 15years ago in another part of yuen long and they were just left empty untill about 2years ago when they decided to rent them out, and from what i heard it only took 3-6 weeks to find different tenants for each of the 3 floors,and again there is no access for cars, the nearest road being 10-15mins walk away lol!!,so hopefully that means there is still demand for rental properties in remote areas of the NT.

Selling a Yuen Long village house

One of MrsB's relatives is currently trying to sell the top floor (700 sq.ft.) of a village house south of Yuen Long. They are hoping to get appx HK$1.2M. It's a top floor with roof, which is usually worth a bit extra, but on the other hand the building is already 10 years old. It does have road access, but the price of the flat doesn't include any parking spaces. So somewhere in the range $1-1.4M for you seems doable.

They've had it on the market for four months. Plenty of people coming round to see it, but no firm offers yet. So, be prepared that yours might also take a while to sell.

Good luck, MrB

PS Seems you should be able to get an HK ID if your parents have HK passports. See point #4 here.