Hong Kong is officially the most expensive place to live
In the ranking of the most expensive cities in the world the top 8 are Asian. For the second year in a row Hong Kong is the most expensive city in the world. Indeed, the ranking for the year 2019 has been strongly impacted by the appreciation of the US dollar which has influenced other currencies.
An independent territory in south-eastern China, the world's urban and financial center, it is one of the densest cities in the world.
Hong Kong is a liberal economy and the most competitive in the world. The city has built its fortune on the principle of almost no taxes, so it is a very good place to invest.
One of the best cities for shopping, the city of Hong Kong is considered as a showcase for Chinese buyers.
After London and New York it is the most important financial centre and 90% of its GDP is generated by the service sector.
Originally a fishing town, it can be said that the city has evolved a lot over the years, as far as languages are concerned ⅓ of its population speaks English like natives even though Cantonese is the official language.
40% of the Hong Kong territory is protected by parks, only 20 minutes away from the city you will find idyllic landscapes, beach or mountains according to your desires.
The price of real estate is the determining factor that ranks Hong Kong as the most expensive city in the world, indeed for a T3 unfurnished you must count more than 6000 euros per month, double the price of real estate in London and triple that of Paris.
The returns between the rent and the purchase price are about 2% which means that the purchase prices are very high compared to the rent price because of the purchasing power.
Owners rent at a loss and therefore expect a capital gain on resale, that's why you can see for example that for a 180m2 apartment the purchase price will be 4 million euros.
The reason why the price of real estate is so expensive is the geographical situation of the city, indeed very little of its land is buildable because 80% is made up of mountains.
The demand for housing continues to increase as the wealthiest people in China buy real estate in Hong Kong to make it a pied-à-terre or simply as a real estate investment.
Many Chinese also emigrate because the Hong Kong economy is much better than the Chinese economy even if their number per year is limited, this contributes to the increase in the price of real estate in a considerable way.
WAY OF LIFE
When there are kitchens in apartments in Hong Kong they are the bare minimum, many restaurants are cheaper than cooking for themselves.
Especially if you are an expatriate in Hong Kong the local food might get bored and you will be tempted to look for western products, be aware that they cost double.
If you want to drink a coffee in a restaurant it will cost you 6 euros, which is again double the price in London and Paris. It is also the most expensive city in terms of petrol, counting 1.6 euro for 1L of petrol.
Subscriptions in sports halls are also higher than the average of about 80 euros per month. The cost of a woman's haircut at a non-Asian hairdresser is at least 150 euros.
But the most expensive thing in everyday life is if you are ill, for a simple consultation you have to pay between 95 and 120 euros.
As a result of the increase in the value of the dollar, Asian currencies that depend on it to establish their own currency or to make monetary exchanges are in a bad position.
Together with the price of real estate this is the second most important reason why Hong Kong is the most expensive city in the world.
Despite being the most expensive city in the world, it appears that many expatriates are very happy to live there. Indeed, they say that the setting is exotic, the culture is interesting, that you can become whoever you want to be, unlike Western countries that have the need to put everyone in boxes.
Transport is cheap and always clean, as far as supermarkets are concerned it is easy to find western products and it is better to avoid buying fish and meat from China or Hong Kong Bay.
For education there are many international schools, in terms of domestic help it is very common to have a "Helper" often of Philippine origin that you will have to house. Housing is often provided in apartments or houses but it remains very small and rudimentary.
Many expatriates have chosen Hong Kong and are very well represented in this city as it has 115 consulates from different countries, more than any other city in the world.
Why not ask your language exchange friends about the most expensive city that they've ever lived in?
Written by: Lisa Lambert, Staff Writer
- 14 Feb, 2020
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