June 17, 2024

You have chosen HK business registration. The next step would be to determine the cost of living there before making the move.

Numerous banking, technology, advertising, and global corporations are located in Hong Kong. Additionally, there are several employment prospects for ex-pats and international employees in these fields.

As a business owner intending to establish a firm in Hong Kong or migrate to the area, you may be curious about the cost of living in Hong Kong. Find out by reading on.


Hong Kong’s real estate is notoriously costly. However, Bloomberg reported in May 2021 that rents were up to 25 percent less expensive than in May 2019. The average price per square foot in the first quarter of 2021 was HKD $33.60 (USD $4.33).

Popular ex-pat neighborhoods such as Mid-Levels, Deep Water, and Soho in the Sheung Wan area saw rent costs decrease by 20 to 25 percent. For instance, one of Hong Kong’s rental websites, Spacious.hk, showed a two-bedroom apartment in Soho with a monthly rent of $3,500 in the first quarter of 2021, compared to $4,200 two years before.

Despite the price decline, Hong Kong remains the most costly city in which to rent a luxury flat. According to a forecast by the global property consultant Knight Frank, the price of top rentals in Hong Kong by the end of 2020 would be $6.70 per square foot. A USD $10,000 per month rental budget may only afford 1,500 square feet of space in New York City, as opposed to 2,249 square feet in Los Angeles (in second place).

In ex-pat areas, the monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment is around $44,000 and for a studio, $24,000. In less desirable districts, the monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment is around HKD $29,000 and for a studio, approximately HKD $16,000.

Foreigners seldom purchase property in Hong Kong owing to the hefty stamp tax, which may reach 30% of the property’s value.

Foreigners often do not qualify for mortgages (40-50% on the first purchase of a home). If the property costs more than 10 million Hong Kong dollars, a 60% down payment is required. In addition to 1% of the transaction price in charges, interest rates vary from 2.1% to 3.50%.

Utility expenses

Hong Kong Island and Lamma Island get electricity from the Hong Kong Electric Co., whereas Kowloon, the New Territories, Lantau, and Cheung Chau receive electricity from the China Light and Power Co. In your lease, you may be required to pay two months’ worth of power in advance.

If your flat is not yet connected to the gas main, you are required to register an account with the Towngas network. In certain regions of the New Territories and the Outlying Islands, (often older) apartments that are off the gas grid must utilize bottled gas.

The water bill is paid periodically and is negligible.

Utilities cost around HKD $1,700 per month for two occupants of a two-bedroom apartment and HKD $1,000 per month for a single occupant of a studio.


Hong Kong is a culinary wonderland where you will never leave hungry. Hong Kong imports fresh food and vegetables from China and many other Western and Asian nations.

In Hong Kong, they are offered in both local markets and “foreign” supermarkets.

In a mid-range restaurant, the cost of lunch would vary between HKD $85 and $150, while supper would cost between HKD $250 and $300. A meal at an affordable restaurant will cost you HKD $60 per person. A Big Mac meal is priced at HK$58.

Comparative Cost of Living in Hong Kong

In several Cost of Living Rankings, Hong Kong has maintained its position as the most (or second-most) expensive city in the world for ex-pats to live in.

In 2020, ECA International placed number one, ahead of Tokyo, New York, Geneva, and Zurich. Hong Kong ranks second in the Mercer Cost of Living Survey 2021, after Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, but ahead of Beirut, Tokyo, and Zurich.

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