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Hong Kong - Property Options and Types

Most expats find that units in Hong Kong are smaller than what they would find at home in their native countries, especially in comparison to the prices that are being paid. Bedrooms, especially, tend to be on the small side and are usually only large enough for a bed and a small bureau. There are apartments with larger rooms but these are hard to find and expensive when they are located. In newer apartment buildings, things such as wardrobes and built-in cupboards are rare so storage space is extremely limited. Although some companies might offer to pay a shipping fee to bring furniture from home with you, there is a very good chance that your Western furniture will be too large for the small Hong Kong rooms.

Older apartments can be good options if your budget is limited but you still want to be in a central location. Although you might have to do a little cosmetic maintenance, these units can often be turned into nice looking dwellings. The older apartments tend to have fewer amenities included, be typically Chinese in style, do not possess any high end finishes, and generally do not have elevators. On the other hand, they can have a little more square footage than the newer buildings.

The newer apartment buildings can be smaller but also feel more modern. These are typically high rise and well-maintained. They can have newer air conditioning units and access to a club house with a gym and swimming pool.

Apartments normally consist of one level and have a combined dining room and living area layout. If an apartment has more than two bedrooms then there is usually an area for a maid’s quarter, although this area tends to be very small. Some apartments do have outdoor spaces which might include a terrace or a balcony while others have access to a rooftop.

Although apartments, or condos, are the most popular property types in Hong Kong, townhouses can also be available for purchase. These are slightly larger than apartments although you’ll still have neighbors. Townhouses usually come in batches of about 7-20 or even more. These will all look similar with slight variations. They are limited to 6 stories due to building restrictions. A townhouse might also include a terraced rooftop or garden that is either communal or exclusive. These townhouses can range from 2,000-5,000 sq. ft. in size so they can be significantly larger than an apartment.

Houses are typically the most expensive options in Hong Kong. They also come with private car parks. Houses tend to be modern and the size and height can vary depending on the residential zoning rules.

Most of the buildings on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon are small flats that are usually tiled. The newer, self-sufficient residential developments can have lots of amenities that can include swimming pools, gyms, and club houses. In a single complex you might find several different price options.

The further away from the CBD you go, the cheaper the prices will be. Keep in mind, however, that the commute will also be longer. Although the low-rise options in the outlying areas might be the less expensive, there will also be ferry commutes that will add time to your travels.

The fluctuating temperatures in Hong Kong might also play a part in your house hunting. When the humidity is high and the temperature is hot, walking several blocks to get to public transportation can be difficult for some. Although this isn’t the only aspect that should be taken into consideration when looking into a property to purchase, it is one that is important to some people.

Some people do build houses in Hong Kong, but this can be a complicated process. It can sometimes be cheaper, and easier, to purchase a property with an existing structure, tear it down, and build a new one than it is to find land through an auction and construct an original dwelling.

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