Accommodation in Hong Kong

Accommodation in Hong Kong is expensive. In fact, real estate prices in Hong Kong are regularly ranked amongst the highest in the world, so expats will need to budget carefully when it comes to finding their ideal home in the city. Although there are a variety of quality options, expats will also find that living spaces are a lot smaller than what they may be used to back home.

Types of property in Hong Kong

The majority of housing in Hong Kong is in the form of secure, modern apartments in large, high-rise buildings.

Larger housing is available but this can only really be found further away from the city centre, which is not an ideal location for most working people.

Finding property in Hong Kong

Due to the short-term nature of most expat assignments in Hong Kong, most new arrivals opt to rent rather than buy property.

For those who are not lucky enough to have their employer assist them in their search for a property in Hong Kong, the best option is to enlist the services of a reputable estate agent. These professionals have an intimate knowledge of the region’s property market and can help expats find something that meets all their requirements in terms of size, quality, price and location.

There are lots of online property portals and while these are an excellent source of information, the fact is that desirable property in Hong Kong moves quickly. So often by the time a prospective tenant enquires about a property listed on a portal it has already been snapped up through an agent. Nevertheless, it's a good idea to use online resources to research the types, prices and availability of apartments in Hong Kong for an idea of what to expect before relocating.

Renting property in Hong Kong

In order to rent property in Hong Kong expats will need to provide proof of ID and a letter from their employer or contract of employment which allows the landlord or agent to gauge whether prospective tenants are earning enough to afford the rent on the property.  

Most landlords use a standard government lease in Hong Kong. However, because they are allowed to add their own clauses, it is best to read through the contract carefully to ensure that there aren’t any hidden costs involved.

Rental contracts in Hong Kong are generally for a two-year period, with a break clause after a year. One month's rent is usually required as a holding deposit while a contract is signed and then another two or three months’ rent is required as a security deposit, which will only be returned once the tenant vacates the property. Expats should budget accordingly.