Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hong Kong Apartments - A Practical Guide For Expats

Hong Kong Apartments - A Practical Guide For Expats

The island's north side is the first place that comes to mind when looking for apartments in Hong Kong. It is certainly the most well known area with its famous skyline of buildings bearing the names of the world's largest companies. Still today, between these architectural gems and business power centers, run old trams and until recently, even rickshaw drivers... throwbacks to a bygone era.

If your company has itself a sought after address on the north side of the Island, then the first place to look for an apartment in Hong Kong is among the many buildings on offer here.

If you're traveling solo, or as a couple without kids, then a rental apartment in the area bounded by Sheung Wan, Causeway Bay and the Mid-Levels is a great place as you'll have maximum convenience with public transport, work and nightlife all within easy reach.

To keep the budget under tighter control you could look at rental apartments further out from Central, to the west around Kennedy Town or east towards Chai Wan. Renting a Kennedy Town apartment will keep you within a short taxi or bus ride of Central, whereas a Chai Wan apartment is convenient to the eastern most stop on the MTR line. Both are still convenient, just with less Expatriates around- keep in mind that not all Hong Kong grocery stores are created equal.

As a couple with children, you'll probably tend more toward apartment rentals in Mid-Levels and Happy Valley, depending on your size requirements and preferences. All still on the north side of Hong Kong island, only a little more Expat and family oriented.

Keep in mind though that some of the apartments in these areas will not have balconies, car parking or outdoor areas (top floor apartments may have roof access). You may have a gym included in the apartment building. Pets may or may not be allowed depending on the property owner or building regulations, and you'll find the only places to exercise a larger dog being the walking trails up to the Peak.

Looking for space and the budget is not a factor? Then include The Peak in your search. Long famous as the most luxurious real estate in Hong Kong you will find many spacious villas and apartments in this area. Views, carparks, and all the trimmings you would expect from the most sought after location for Hong Kong apartments.

Once you have decided on a location or two, you need to know how the local market works. You will find this and other important information, including rental listings, available in our Hong Kong Apartments section. ExpatFlats also invites real estate agents and property owners looking for an easy way to market to the Expat community to test drive a free account at
James Dylan is the managing director of ExpatFlats Limited, Hong Kong's leading independent property portal.

By James Dylan

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