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The housing market in Hong Kong is somewhat unique. The city’s small territory, a large number of inhabitants and an attractive professional and investment environment have all resulted in a real estate market boom, which is affecting rental prices in the city to this day. Hong Kong proudly holds the title of the most expensive city in Asia for expatriates to lease in.

A three-bedroom apartment in an expat-friendly neighbourhood that is close to international amenities will cost you HK$79,474 per month on average. While foreign professionals generally earn good money in the city, most find these prices unaffordable in the long-term. One of the biggest complaints for expats in Hong Kong is the small size of affordable accommodation — studios come with the area as small as 28 square meters.

Hong Kong's neighbourhoods

Hong Kong is divided into 18 districts, including some industrial areas and residential neighbourhoods. In Central District, you will mainly find companies, financial institutions and regional administrations. You will also find big luxury hotels and large residential complexes. It is a very popular area for expatriates due to easy access to essential services — but also one of the priciest.

The Mid Levels is one of the most expat-friendly areas in Central. Here you will find international schools and easy access to the popular nightlife spots. Located close to SoHo, accommodation in The Mid Levels comes with the upper-end pricing.

The most expensive residential area in the district is The Peak, boasting stunning views and mostly built-up with villas and standalone houses — living here puts you right in the lap of luxury. Repulse Bay and Stanley are also considered pricey but are popular with expats thanks to proximity to beaches. You can find cheaper accommodation in the North Point and if you want to live in the centre of urban activity, check out apartments in the high-rise buildings of Wan Chai.

West Kowloon is an up and coming residential area, only a ten-minute ride from Central Hong Kong while Kowloon Tong is a quieter area, 20 minutes away from Central.

If you are looking to get away from it all — and save on rent while you’re at it — explore the New Territories. With picturesque views and a laid back lifestyle, the district is a nice alternative to the fast-paced city centre. Consider a small fishing village of Sai Kung, the beautiful beach of Clearwater Bay or the exquisite tranquility of Lantau Island.

 Good to know:

Evaluate commute time when choosing your neighbourhood. Living in the New Territories, for instance, will place you quite far from the city’s central areas.

Types of accommodation

You will find different types of accommodation in Hong Kong: furnished and unfurnished apartments and condominiums, multi-storey houses, villas, etc..

If you are making a short stay here, opt for a hotel or a serviced apartment — make sure to book them in advance as cheap hotels in the city fill up fast.

If you are staying for the long term, your choice of accommodation will be primarily guided by budget considerations. As mentioned earlier, Hong Kong is a very pricey city to rent in. If you are looking for lower prices, venture further away from the city centre or consider renting a small studio — a popular type of accommodation in Hong Kong. Apartment sharing is also common.


Rent in the city is notoriously high. Naturally, rent prices vary depending on the neighbourhood, size of the place, furniture, equipment, comfort level and so on. As mentioned above, accommodation is the priciest in Central Hong Kong, prices drop a bit in Kowloon and the New Territories are where to look for a bargain — but further away from the city.

Monthly rent in a small studio (about 45 square metres/480 square feet) will put you back over HK$14,000 in a cheaper area and over HK$20,000 in an expensive area. Monthly rent in larger apartments (80 square metres/900 square feet) can cost up to HK$25,000-HK$40,000 depending on the area.

 Good to know:

Utilities and management fees are paid separately.

Looking for accommodation in Hong Kong

The best way to find accommodation in Hong Kong is through a real estate agency. This will save you a lot of time and will allow you to find a place most suitable for your requirements. However, agent fees apply.

Alternatively, you can check out classified adds on English websites or in local newspapers. Scan through expat forums for potential accommodation leads and ask your contacts in the city.

 Useful links:

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