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A Guide to Renting Property in Hong Kong

A Guide to Renting Property in Hong Kong

Moving to another country involves undertaking a lot of important jobs, including finding a property to rent. If you're relocating to Hong Kong, you may feel as though you have a bigger challenge on your hands with the location's rental properties being very expensive. To find out how to get value for your money in HK, read on for my guide to renting there.

Moving to another country involves undertaking a lot of important jobs, including finding a property to rent. If you're relocating to Hong Kong, you may feel as though you have a bigger challenge on your hands with the location's rental properties being very expensive. To find out how to get value for your money in HK, read on for my guide to renting there.

Renting in Hong Kong Island

Looking for an affordable place to live on Hong Kong Island in the wider area of Hong Kong is never going to be easy, and statistics* from Lloyds TSB reveal it is the most expensive place to rent in the world, ranking number one out of 44 cities. Indeed, typical rental costs here are £2,169 a month, or 27,284 HK dollars.

If you're used to paying between £500 and £1,000 a month in the UK (depending on where in the country you live), this can feel like a huge jump – and it is! First, you will need to ascertain that your new salary will cover this hike in rental costs and still leave you with enough left over to live in the city. If you're relocating to have a better lifestyle, you'll also want to make sure your wage will still be significantly more in HK than at home.

Once you know you are moving to HK, I would try to secure a lease as soon as possible, as costs are going up all the time, with Lloyds reporting a year-on-year change of 8.13 per cent between 2010 and 2011.

When searching for properties in the city, what can you expect to find? Well, more than 90 per cent of housing is apartments, so it is likely that you will move into a flat once you relocate. The reality is, you aren't going to have ample space and you might have to live in a far smaller home than you're used to – but the fabulous views of HK's skyscrapers, inky blue water and expensive yachts will definitely make up for this!

Find a place in Kowloon

You don't have to live in the heart of HK Island if you're moving to Hong Kong, though, and I'd definitely recommend looking at other locations in the state such as Kowloon, where the rental price tags are certainly lower.

For instance, compared with HK Island's £2,169 a month average rental cost, you can expect to pay £1,994, which is considerably less (although still pricey compared with the UK). The 25,080 HK dollar amount is what typical monthly rental costs were in 2011, which is a 12.63 per cent rise on 2010 prices at £1,771 or 22,268 HKD a month, according to Lloyds TSB.

Despite being cheaper than HK Island, it is still ranked as the second most expensive place to rent, the financial services provider revealed.

Two million people live in Kowloon, making up 30 per cent of the entire population of Hong Kong, which is the result of a high number of property developments in the area. Another reason why lots of people are attracted here is because you have a better chance of finding more spacious properties, with houses and gated developments, as well as large flats, to be found here.

Move to New Territories

Another place you can consider moving to is New Territories, which is situated north of Kowloon. This area offers more greenery and space than the other two locations as it is further away from Hong Kong Island.

However, as a result of this, it has cheaper properties. For instance, you could expect to pay a typical rent of £1,275 (16,036 HKD) per month in 2011, according to Lloyds TSB. Despite this being a huge 21.26 per cent jump on 2010 prices, it is still considerably less than you'd pay in the main city.

As this region is large, you can choose from a variety of locations to live in, with Sai Kung and Sha Tin being popular for their strong expat community – this may be something that is high up on your agenda when it comes to choosing where to live.

*Link to Lloyds TSB World Rental Statistics

Image courtesey of No Lands Too Foreign via CC license