Living in Hong Kong, China
Arguably the most international of Asian cities, with its historical Chinese origins and British Colonial past, the city encompasses the best of both worlds. It benefits from a free market economy and stable political system. Well-positioned for non-native speakers, all communications are bilingual, in English and Chinese (Cantonese), and supported by a highly sophisticated financial infrastructure and telecommunications network. With substantial foreign exchange reserves, a convertible and stable currency and simple tax system, the SAR is highly attractive to businesses looking to establish a base of support for their Asian endeavours.
From a living perspective, Hong Kong enjoys a very comfortable standard, offering excellent healthcare, myriad educational options for the international student, a comprehensive public transportation system. The biggest adjustment to expectations is needed when it comes to finding a home. A finite amount of developable land* means that Hong Kong’s density is an average of 6,460 people/km2. This translates to a mainly vertical and expensive existence, one where the average family dwelling is 400 square feet and 36% of the population resides in either public-housing or subsidized quarters. In this context, “luxury” housing averages between 1,200 to 3,500 square feet and offers a minimum of three bedrooms.
*Approximately 40% of land in Hong Kong is held by the Government as nature reserves and parks. While density can be high in urban areas, it only takes a few minutes to find open, green areas.
Real Estate Practices
- Size is quoted in square feet and gross measurements; incorporating public areas and actual usable space is most likely 80- 85%.
- The asking rental is quoted in HK dollars per square foot and is usually exclusive of building management/clubhouse fees or government rates and rents.
- An initial deposit of one month’s rent is due on execution of the Offer letter. This is refundable in the event that a Tenancy Agreement is not executed.
- Two to three months’ rent as a security deposit is due upon execution.