So, lets consider that you have just been offered a construction job in Hong Kong. The contracts are signed and you fly out in the next few weeks. Where are you going to live? How much will it cost you and what suitable locations are there? These are the questions I am going to cover for you in this blog article. I hope this guide will help by covering the basics of what you can expect to pay and a few different areas with expat communities.
Accommodation is relatively expensive in Hong Kong but this is generally compensated for by competitive wages and company housing allowances. Prices range from about £1000/month for a Mid-Levels apartment to £15000/month for a luxurious home in an upmarket area. Expats and locals who chose to live further from the central business district will pay cheaper rent but have a longer commute to work. There is an excellent transport system between most residential areas and the CBD & much to be said for seriously considering doing this.
The two main types of accommodation for expats moving to Hong Kong are Serviced Apartments and Rental Property.
These apartments are becoming more and more popular as they are an excellent way to find out if an area is the right location for you. Everything is included in the cost and they are available for short time leases. They are however more expensive than renting a property as they are similar to staying in a hotel. As an expat moving to Hong Kong for the first time they are an excellent initial choice to experience living in the city without the stress of contacting utility companies and furnishing your own property. Sometimes an employer will pay the cost of this for a month or two.
If you are confident you know where you want to be living in Hong Kong then rental property is the best choice for you. Leases are usually valid for two years and require a month’s rent as deposit, but some landlords ask for up to three month’s rent as a deposit. It is wise to check the terms upon which you are permitted to break the lease contract if there is the possibility of being relocated elsewhere by your company. Rentals are payable monthly and it’s the responsibility of tenants to arrange the connection/continuity of payments for utilities. You will also need to consider shipping your personal belongings/furniture or purchasing new furnishings. Most employers can recommend their favourite shipping company & for £500, you can get a large crate of stuff shipped from the UK.
Hong Kong residential areas for all types of needs:
There are a number of popular residential areas for expat accommodation in Hong Kong, influenced by the lifestyle preferences of the individual. Families with young children tend to favour the Southern part of Hong Kong Island, while single expats and young couples prefer the Mid-Levels area. More affluent expats often rent expensive apartment or townhouse at the Peak.
As you can imagine it is very difficult to include every option available so I will give a brief summary of what is available in serviced apartments and rental property in each area. Following are a number of locations that have popular expat communities. This is not an exhaustive list it is just a guide as of July 2010 to get an idea on what it will cost and what is available.
The following link directs you to Hong Kong homes. It is the best site I have found for information on price size and location of property in Hong Kong.
Wan Chai is a combination of major commercial district and trendy residential area, boasting a great selection of hotels, shops, restaurants and entertainment venues, as well as a full range of accommodation types. Expats’ rental options in Wan Chai range from budget digs or serviced apartments to luxurious housing complexes. There are many cheap clothing stores to browse in Wan Chai, and tasty bargains to be found at the outdoor food market.
Check out GoogleMaps to see this in its full glory!
1 Bed Serviced Studio Apartment from around $15,000 HK Per Month
2 Bed Serviced Apartment for around $23,000 HK Per Month
3 Bed Serviced Apartment for $50,000+ HK Per Month
1 Bed Studio from around $9,000 HK Per Month
2 Bed Apartment from around $12,000 HK Per Month
3 Bed Apartment from around $35,000 HK Per Month
Single expats and young couples in Hong Kong enjoy living in the Mid-Levels, just above Central and Wan Chai. This area is popular among young expats due to its close proximity to the CBD and the nightlife of Soho and Lan Kwai Fong. The Mid-Levels are also good for expat families as there are international schools and good hospitals nearby, as well as outdoor attractions such as the Zoological and Botanical gardens. The extraordinary Mid-Levels Escalator, the longest outdoor escalator on earth, runs from here to the city centre.
1 Bed Serviced Studio Apartment for around $16,000 HK Per Month
2 Bed Serviced Apartment for around $26,000 HK Per Month
3 Bed Serviced Apartment for $58,000+ HK Per Month
1 Bed Studio from around $14,000 HK Per Month
2 Bed Apartment from around $23,000 HK Per Month
3 Bed Apartment from around $35,000 HK Per Month
Not only is the Peak the highest locale on Hong Kong Island, it is also the most affluent residential area. Height restrictions have ensured that the low rise buildings don’t detract from the beautiful views, or block any of the cool evening breezes that caress the neighbourhood. Many housing complexes on the Peak offer communal swimming pools, tennis courts and gymnasiums, and there are also lovely walks to be had in the area. The Peak does experience some mist and very high humidity in spring; dehumidifiers are essential.
Town House $42,000 HK per month
2 Bed apartment $68,000 HK per Month
3 Bed apartment $105,000 HK Per Month
Hong Kong is an exciting place to live & has lots to offer long term Hong Kong residents & expats alike. Hopefully the information above is a starting point for your research.
Rest assured though; employers are keen to help new employees to find suitable accommodation & there is a good supply available at the current time!