12 Mar 2019 | Veronica
Hong Kong’s real estate is famous for being some of the most expensive globally.
So how do English teachers make it work?
Read on for some recommended steps for finding your home in the city, as well as answers to the most common questions for finding accommodation in Hong Kong!
Step 1. Pre-arrival: Book short term accommodation (2 weeks to 1 month)
Use this time to adjust to the jetlag, get to know the city and different areas, and most importantly – to meet people! Take note: rooms in Hong Kong will always be smaller than what the pictures showed. Don’t lock yourself into anything for too long without seeing it!
If you are planning to stay in Hong Kong only until the end of your teaching contract, continuing in short term accommodation will be the most convenient with fewer costs up front.
If you are planning to stay in Hong Kong for at least a full year, look into longer term options such as signing a lease. Plan for the start up costs and read your contract carefully!
If you’re in Hong Kong already, it’s a great idea to browse a few flats in the areas you want to live as early as possible. This will help give you an idea of market prices.
However, like everything in Hong Kong, housing works at an extremely fast pace so you don’t need to start looking seriously more than 2 weeks-1 month in advance. If a flat is empty, agents want it filled immediately. When you do see a great flat you’ll have to be ready to say yes within a few short hours, if not on the spot!
Don’t underestimate the power of networks in Hong Kong! The city is transient and people are used to friends coming and going. To find the true gems, start by asking people you’ve met if anyone knows of a room opening up!
Short Term (1-6 months)
Facebook: Search for any combination of the words flat share/ housing/flats/accommodation in Hong Kong on Facebook. There are 5-10 different groups that post a range of short to medium term rentals. Hong Kong is a very transient city for expats so you will find posts for lease transfers, empty rooms in well established flat shares, ‘no-agent fee’ rentals, etc.
Wing Kong: Great as a no-frills starting place. The quality of roommates and flat vary.
Apple Dorm: Not recommended for longer than absolutely necessary, but cheap to start off in a pinch. Single rooms just barely fit the size of a bed.
Weave Co-Living: Part of a growing trend in Hong Kong. Small rooms with added benefits of a rooftop, communal areas, and social events.
Tane Residences (for couples): Serviced flat, some with basic kitchenette and private or shared bathroom. Good for a short term start for couples. On the higher end of the market if you are one person.
Room Go: Previously called EasyRoommate. This site is a hit or a miss, and has small fees for but worth checking.
Medium Term (1-2 year lease)
Standard leases in Hong Kong last for 2 years. The first year is generally fixed (you cannot break lease) and the second year is flexible (both landlord and tenant may end the lease with 1 months notice).
When you are looking to sign a lease, there are two main places to start:
1) Use a Housing Agent
Housing Agents in Hong Kong will typically work within two or three neighborhoods each. Ask any friends or connections if they have an agent they would recommend. Alternatively, use a website like 28Hse to get in touch with an agent (not all flats will be posted online), or walk into any housing agency in the neighborhood. If the neighborhood is more local, bring along a Cantonese-speaking friend to help.
Search for any combination of the words flat share/ housing/flats/accommodation in Hong Kong on Facebook. There are 5-10 different groups that post a range of short to medium term rentals. In particular, there are some groups that only allow “no agent fee” posts.
Flats in Hong Kong range drastically, from HK$5000/month to more than HK$150 000+ monthly.
Generally, teachers pay in the range of HK$5000 – HK$8000 monthly for rooms in shared accommodation.