HK neighborhood/housing options

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    HK neighborhood/housing options

    Hi all:

    I thought i'd pull out the query below from a previous post of mine (i think it got buried under the pile of other questions i had!!!)

    "There is talk of my company moving me out to HK from NY this fall for a two+ year posting -- needless to say i am very excited about the possibility. I'm 25 and single and see this a great opportunity..."

    "...There is the possibility that my company will provide a housing subsidy or pay for a serviced apt. I expect any offer to be modest-- where is the best value with regards to housing in HK? Where can i find out about different neighborhoods in HK?"

    My job will have me working in Admiralty/Central-- although i don't think proximity really matters to me as long as i can have a reasonable commute (under 45 min-1/2 hour).

    what might a high end 1 bedroom (or studio) serviced apt. cost? low end?

    has anyone had a particularly good experience with a clean/peaceful serviced apartment?

    thanks all!

    Last edited by jtab; 20-08-2003 at 10:46 AM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2003

    If you're looking at a 45 minute commute, most of Hong Kong is within reach of Central. Our underground (MTR) is pretty efficient and so are the ferries which can bring you in from most of the outlying islands in 30-45 minutes.

    My question to you would be, "Do you want to live like most of Hong Kong does or do you want to live like the stereotypical expatriate community does?".

    Here are some options:

    The obvious is mid-levels, where there is a large collection of expats. Its close to SOHO and Lan Kwai Fong which are the expat drinking and dining areas. Parts of mid-levels are within walking distance of Central and Admiralty. Mid-levels is usually the choice of most mid-income expatriates who want to be close to work. Budget about HK$20K (all inclusive + cost of a part time helper) for a 700sq ft 2 bedroom apartment on the mid-range. Lower if you go for one of the older flats.

    Then there is Admiralty, which is mostly a commercial area and has a few residential options. ( )

    Wanchai, on the lower end, but there are some good new buildings. Budget about HK$15K or so.

    Discovery bay, which is family oriented and home of many an expat banker who lost their housing allowances. (Inside joke) Budget about HK$15K for a 800 sq ft flat with a sea-view.

    TST has some good options which a pretty decent view of Hong Kong. Again in about HK$15K range.

    You have Happy Valley where you can find a decent apartment with race-course views. Again around HK$15K range.

    If you want more exotic islands the price drops for housing in Lamma, Cheung Chau etc.

    Don't get into a rush to make a decision. Stay in a serviced apartment for a month and make a decision.

    I'm generally against serviced apartments as you have virtually no flexibility in terms of bringing your own stuff in.. and they generally cost twice as much as unserviced rentals.

    Good sites to look at -- HK's biggest housing / rental website. -- Higher end estate agent but they have good descriptions of the various areas. -- Wikipedia is an open source encyclopedia and I'm a big fan .. great articles on HK which are fairly recent.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2003

    If you're just getting a one bedroom apartment, it won't be THAT much. And prices have dipped alot recently, or so I'm told. And living in an ex-pat jungle's probably not the best idea.

    Any place on HK island/Kowloon will be within 30-45 minutes reach of central. So just find an area you like, then get a good sized "nice" place for your budget. It won't be too hard right now, it's a buyers market.

    You can get an ok 600 sq ft flat at anything from $5,000HK upwards. The only bad points I've noticed with those types, is that you'll usually have two small bedrooms, but the rest of the size is ok. 1 bedroom places are probably harder to find, and lots of businessmen go for them, so although the prices are still ok, you have to snap them up fast.

    Quarry Bay, North Point, Happy Valley, all probably good places for your budget. Or Causeway Bay/Wanchai for a busier place.

    KnowItAll's prices seem more like typical ex-pat family sized apartment prices, and you said one bedroom, so I presume you're just going by yourself? It won't be too bad for the prices.

    And you can get short term (3-6 month contract) furnished apartments, which are a good choice as opposed to serviced apartments.

    Oh - Happy Valley have serviced apartments (1 bed studio sized) around $12k, but you can get similar unserviced placed for half the price elsewhere.

    I'm in Causeway Bay now, and it's nice. Like London on class A drugs. Nice enough furnished apartment, fine size for 1-2 people, good price, excellent shopping location. Not many westerners about though, depending if that's a good or bad factor for you.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2003


    you both raise interesting points re: the difference between local or expat communities and making the appropriate neighborhood selection. i guess the only real way to figure it out is to see for myself!

    i'm going to push for my company to send me out in the fall for an exploratory trip, so then might be a good time to consider options.

    curious to hear pros/cons of local vs. expat

    also curious to hear about housing options in what KnowItAll termed "the more exotic islands of Lamma, Cheung Chau etc." (btw- is exotic a euphenism for hassle?)