I'm considering moving from London to Hong Kong, and am a bit puzzled by the online research I've done into accommodation costs. I'm really struggling to find the HK equivalents of the different options on the London housing market that I'm familiar with -- would really appreciate some guidance!
I am 32, married, with a few month old baby. I am a senior manager in a consulting firm (which is similar to the 'Big 4' accounting firms) and my salary in the UK is GBP110,000 per annum before tax (about GBP6,000 per month after tax).
In London, for about GBP2,000 a month I can rent a 2 bedroom flat in a nice area close to central London (i.e. not right in central, but 15 mins away), or for the same cost I can rent a 3 bedroom house in a v pleasant suburb (45-60 mins commute from central London). If I'm willing to live in a 2 bedroom flat in a nice suburb, I can get this for only GBP1,000 per month.
I'm assuming my net (after tax) salary in HK will be the same as in London. I wouldn't want to spend more than a third of my salary on accommodation (ideally a bit less) - this gives me a budget of GBP2,000 or HK$24,000 per month MAX.
Ideally, I would like to live in a 3 bedroom flat with a maid's room. I've looked at some HK apartment rentals websites online, and am not really seeing anything for less than HK35-40,000 per month -- and this seems to be the starting budget for something not particularly nice and with only 2 bedrooms.
So I'm quite puzzled. Do people doing the same jobs in HK earn more than in London? (I thought it was about the same). Or do they spend a higher % of their income on housing? Or do they just have a lower standard of living (in terms of housing) than London? Or do most companies cover accommodation costs on top of salary -- I got the impression that was rare these days?
Or am I just looking at the wrong websites which are only showing me relatively expensive apartments?
In terms of areas, I have been looking at either mid levels (because it's close to Central, where my company is based, and I don't want a long commute), or as an alternative on the south side of HK island (Stanley, Repulse Bay) because they sound like nice places to live which are a little further but still not too far from the city. Are these reasonable places to look in, or do I need to look further out, outside HK island to find somewhere nice to live within my budget?
Thanks in advance for any advice you can give!