Searching for Suburbia: Why city dwellers are flocking to HK's "Back Garden”

Posted: Jan 15 2015Last Updated: Jan 7 2016
15 January 2015 - In the past, families relocating to Hong Kong would typically choose to live in the city center to be near amenities like eateries, shops, schools, and workplaces in the central business districts on Hong Kong Island. More recently, however, there has been an increasing trend of newcomers settling directly in more remote areas like Sai Kung and Clearwater Bay.  Jade Villa, Sai Kung
Known as the “Back Garden of Hong Kong”, Sai Kung and Clearwater Bay have many things to offer families wanting a suburban lifestyle: more living space, gardens, water views, mountain greenery, beaches and country parks are among the many things attracting people to these areas.  
The most common form of housing in these districts are village houses; a typical village house is uniform in size, typically 2,100 square feet spread over three floors.  Most have 3-4 bedrooms, a family room, a living/dining space, a private rooftop and a garden. These houses are popular with families and often feature fantastic views of mountain greenery or the sea.  Additional housing options include a number of villa style complexes of various sizes that offer 24-hour security and facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts and gyms. 
From a rental perspective, price levels in Sai Kung and Clearwater Bay were traditionally lower compared to districts nearer the city, however, this too is changing as a result of increased demand in the housing market, partially triggered by new international schools.
Once a fishing village, Sai Kung has now transformed into a self-sufficient township for those preferring a quieter lifestyle - close to both nature and trendy restaurants and bars. Nearby Clearwater Bay, with its beach-life feel, is particularly popular for those who commute to Central due to its accessibility to the MTR. 
A typical weekend scene in these districts would include: children in stingray jerseys (the local rugby team); parents transformed into rugby coaches; day-trippers parading their pooches along the waterfront promenade; boats of all shapes and sizes on the water; alfresco dining while watching children playing in playgrounds; local and expat children playing with each other, without speaking each other’s languages.

Some of the reasons people choose to live in Sai Kung / Clearwater Bay are:

Jade Villa, Sai Kung
  • The many International Schools and Kindergartens in the area – families want to minimize travel time for their children and choose to live closer to school and in an area well serviced by school buses.
  • For those working in the city, a 30-40 minute commute is a small price to pay in exchange for a country or village lifestyle.
  • A very efficient public transport network including minibus and double-decker bus routes connect to Hong Kong’s MTR providing easy access to and from the city.
  • The proximity to country parks for those who enjoy hiking or cycling, sandy beaches, and boating. 
  • An abundance of activities for children and adults alike, including rugby, football, yoga, boot camp…the list goes on!
There is an evident increase in the number of families moving to the area and more businesses are setting up shop to meet the demands of cosmopolitan residents.  Residents no longer need to travel to the city to get their gourmet meat, designer furniture, favorite coffee brand etc. Sai Kung and Clearwater Bay are now self-sufficient and offer a truly fantastic lifestyle!
See what all the fuss is about:

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