21 Nov, 2017

Hong Kong property prices compare to other global cities

2017 12 10 six minute rail main

Hong Kong’s residential property market is renowned for being one of the most expensive in the world.

Homebuyers and investors need to have substantial sums in the bank to afford many of the apartments currently on the market. For HKD 10-12 million (USD 1.28 – 1.54 million) today’s apartment-hunters could get a new, 500 sq ft, 2-bedroom apartment in Kai Tak or Tsuen Wan, or a 700 sq ft, 3-bedroom apartment in an older building in Sai Wan Ho. The facilities at Hong Kong’s newer buildings include a clubhouse, gym and outdoor pool. The city’s older buildings will have fewer facilities but perhaps more spacious layouts and higher ceilings.

Ingrid Cheh, Associate Director, Hong Kong Research, says: “With a budget of HKD 10-12 million, you would only be able to buy a basic, mass residential unit with a maximum of two bedrooms in a fringe central location in Hong Kong. Yet this is what less than half of the households in Hong Kong can afford. With prices now at record high levels, developers are resorting to building increasingly small units to keep lump sums affordable.”

In contrast, the same budget (USD1.28 – 1.54 million) goes significantly further in some of the other big global cities – even those where luxury apartments come with sizeable price tags such as London, New York and Tokyo.


Manchester has undergone a complete transformation over the past 10 to 15 years. It’s become the North of England’s entertainment and cultural hub, and many tech companies have relocated to this thriving metropolis. “Manchester apartments are of a similar size to those in London, but they are much less expensive. For the USD1.28 – 1.54 million budget(£ 980,000- £1.2 million) it’s possible to buy a penthouse near the city center,” says Anne-Marie Sage, Head of International Residential Property Services at JLL Asia. “Investors typically purchase flats priced between £200,000 and £400,000 (USD 262,000 – 524,000).”

New developments such as Manchester New Square are part of the revitalization of the city center with artisan restaurants and shops nearby. Here, a 1,000 sqft, 3-bedroom luxury apartment costs £466,500 (USD 611,000).

The city also offers more for smaller budgets than London. Around £200,000 buys a 700-1,000 sqft flat with 2-3 bedrooms in an older building, or a 500-600 sqft, 1-bedroom flat in a newer building. And it’s easy to rent investment properties in Manchester. “It takes an average of just nine days to find new tenants,” notes Wong.

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