Hong Kong: the most expensive city in the world for expats

Hello everyone,

If you are planning to settle in Hong Kong, here is what you need to know about the cost of living in this Special Administrative Region.

Mercer International firm published the results of its annual survey on the cost of living in major cities worldwide on Wednesday, June 22. This year, Hong Kong ranks as the most expensive city for expatriates, followed by Luanda, Zurich, Singapore and Toyko.

The survey takes into account the price comparison of over 200 products and services, namely, housing, transportation, clothing, food, household items and entertainment in 375 cities cities worldwide.

Other Chinese cities, namely Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Seoul rank 7th, 10th, 12th, 15th and 18th respectively due to the weakening of the Chinese yuan against the US dollar.

Find more information here:

Feel free to share your views about the cost of living in Hong Kong.

Thank you in advance for your contribution.

The biggest expense of living in Hong Kong probably is rent...

Hi Veedushi,

Yes I read about the latest ratings on the news. Hong Kong has always been considered an expensive place to live even going back 20 or 30 years, due to it's limited land size and proximity to China and being one of the most important trading ports in the world. As Jane says, this is due largely to the high price of property and rentals, for both residential and commercial property.

But as with other expensive cities in Asia, you don't need to spend a fortune on food or household items or clothing. Hong Kong has plenty of shops that sell inexpensive household goods, it has a lot of factory outlets where you can buy inexpensive clothes, and of course you can eat local food on the streets. And of course it depends in which part of Hong Kong/Kowloon/New Territories that you are living.

I would say that ideally expats should have a package that includes accommodation, but if not there are always ways to survive as many people share apartments too. Expats tend to prefer to live in the more expensive areas such as Mid Levels, Central, Wanchai, Causeway Bay or Discovery Bay which are all expensive as far as rent is concerned.

But personally, I believe that many people are willing to pay those higher prices in order to live in one of the world's most exciting and vibrant and business oriented cities which I believe Hong Kong is.


There are other areas such as Park Island which is 25 minutes by ferry and will probably shave 30% to 40% off your rent costs if you dont want to live on the Island. You can even head out to Quarry Bay or Tai Koo to save some money on rent costs.

That's right Ged. when I first moved to Hong Kong, I had almost no money but did have a job offer with a salary of only HK$8,000. I rented a place in Heng Fa Chuen. Since I always consider Hong Kong as a land of opportunity, what is important is to get established even if it means accepting a low salary in the beginning and living in a small flat. Life is an adventure and if you are willing to work hard and prove yourself then good things will happen.

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