Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hidden costs

Mui Wo property looks cheap in comparison to places like Tung Chung and Tsing Yi and people often ask me: "So what's the catch?"

Easy: Ferry fares.

You are dependent on the ferry as it is the fastest way to get to Central. So if you have to get into the office every day, you must factor in transport costs if you're planning to move to Mui Wo.

Here's the latest on ferry fare rises from The Standard today: "Fares on six ferry routes to the outlying islands will rise, the first as early as next week.The fare from Mui Wo to Central will increase from HK$13 to HK$14 while the express fare will go up from HK$25 to HK$28.80. The fares hike will be effective from Friday."

Already my monthly commute costs me at least HK$2,000. With the fare increase, transport can easily be HK$4,000 to HK$5,000 for a two-person household - something you should factor into the rent/mortgage.

But at least places like Mui Wo, Cheung Chau, Peng Chau and Lamma are "proper" towns, as compared to developer-led Discovery Bay so ferry fares are still subsidised by the government.

I wonder how much the fare raise for the Disco Bay ferries is going to be?

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