Average Cost of Living in Hong Kong
Those who are interested in living in Hong Kong, whether to move there either temporarily or gain permanent residence, are not alone in this regard. Most people enjoy the serene tranquility within that area. The country covers an area of 1,098 square kilometres and is densely populated. It has approximately seven million people inhabiting the area. The cost of living in Hong Kong is one of the most expensive compared to other places in Asia. Hence, it is the most expensive among all neighbouring countries.
Expats are likely to lose much money after converting their own money into Hong Kong’s currency. Hong Kong’s currency is the Hong Kong dollar (HK$). A currency converter is available online; it can be used to check on the conversion rate from one’s local currency to the Hong Kong dollar so that one can evade getting scammed or losing money during bank and other conversions. One of the sites that can be used to be assured of getting standard conversion rates is Transfer Wise. On this site, the standard rate is the following: US$1 is approximately HK$7.80. Having this rate in mind, it becomes much easier to calculate the conversion and expenses used for demonstrations in this article.
A one-bedroom flat in the city centre would cost approximately HK$16,551 (US$2,111) per month, slightly higher than the cost of the same in Sydney, Australia, and slightly lower than the cost of the same in New York, United States, as well as London, United Kingdom. However, the cost will still depend on the amount of travel that one does per month. Hong Kong is one of the world’s most expensive places in which one can reside. Rent is the major contributor to the high cost of living in Hong Kong. However, one can still enjoy a comfortable lifestyle by wisely selecting an area of residence, especially those with an affordable cost for people who earn an average salary.
Renting or purchasing homes in Hong Kong is one of the most expensive areas of daily activities; it makes the cost of living in Hong Kong higher. Those who are planning to move to Hong Kong are advised to run a background check and wisely choose on the preferred residence depending on the motives underpinning the move to Hong Kong. Rent is one of the major contributing factors to the exorbitant cost of living in Hong Kong.
Other areas that one will be most likely to spend most of the money earned while living in Hong Kong include food, clothing, transportation, personal care, and entertainment. An average meal for two in a mid-range restaurant will cost around HK$350 (US$45). Transportation costs in Hong Kong typically range from HK$450-480 (US$57-61) per month assuming one has an average daily commute fare. The cost of personal care per month, including a short visit of 15 minutes to a private doctor, will be around HK$600 (US$77). Entertainment options are as follows: a cocktail in a club would cost HK$135 (US$17), a beer in a neighbourhood club HK$64 (US$8), and a dinner in a pub for two would cost approximately HK$512 (US$65). Two movie tickets cost around HK$204 (US$26).
Expensive Areas of Daily Life in Hong Kong
The following areas will cause one to spend much money when residing in Hong Kong. These areas are generally essential and impossible to do without.
Movement within the area is somewhat expensive. Using taxis to move within Hong Kong will add to the expenses that one is likely to incur. Alternatively, to cut the cost of living in Hong Kong, one can either minimize movement within Hong Kong or use public transportation, which is affordable, to reduce transportation costs. A one-way local transport ticket is approximately HK$10 (US$1.28), while a taxi ride costs HK$24 (US$3.06). The price of one liter of gasoline is HK$16.22 (US$2.07).
2. Food and clothing
Both of these are vital aspects of life. Therefore, spending on these is an important daily expense, regardless of where in the world one may live. However, meals will cost much more than clothing. For instance, a complete meal for two in a restaurant would go for approximately HK$400 (US$51) according to statistics shown by Numbeo. On the other hand, a pair of jeans and a dress cost HK$637.76 (US$81.35) and HK$280.87 (US$35.83) respectively, making them relatively affordable when compared to the cost of food in Hong Kong.
Areas in Hong Kong with the Highest Costs of Living
Those who are ready and willing to splurge will have nothing to worry about while living in Hong Kong. This is because there are locations which are extremely expensive in the area. At the top of the list is the Peak. It is one of Hong Kong’s most expensive places in which one can reside. The location is famous for being the location of the homes of rich and prominent individuals. It has some of the most expensive homes in the world. Therefore, living in the Peak will allow residents to rub shoulders with some of Hong Kong’s most famous and richest people. Living in this the neighborhood will permit the residents to hike to different parts of the island and the city. The calmness of the area while traversing it can make residents feel that they are actually in the countryside, not the city.
The other area which is relatively expensive is Mid-Levels. The fact that the place is centrally located gives residents the chance to see a breathtaking panoramic view of Hong Kong’s skyline. Among other reasons that make the neighborhood admirable to many include closeness to financial and commercial districts. It is also close to bustling city action but still far enough from the city center that the residents can still enjoy the tranquility. The area is attractive to prominent businesspeople due to its central position and proximity to business activities.
Another expensive area in Hong Kong is Stanley, a beachside town located in the southern part of Hong Kong. The place is full of upscale restaurants as well as beaches that make it attractive to both families and children alike. Other areas which are relatively expensive include Kowloon Tong, Repulse Bay which is located in the southern part of Hong Kong and is surrounded by freshwater reservoirs, and Tai Tam.
Saving on Daily Expenses in Hong Kong
An average earner can still opt to spend little if they do not want to spend too much in Hong Kong. Despite the generally high costs of living, there are ways in which such can be done. If the person wishes to have a permanent residence, then it would be wiser to buy a home instead of renting one. However, if the person is moving to the area on a temporary basis, then it is advisable for the person to locate a cheaper area or location to live. An effective savings plan can involve the reduction of transportation costs by opting for a public transport as opposed to using taxis for navigation. Selecting the most affordable restaurants is also a better option as they would charge cheaper bills relative to some which are located in areas where people are perceived to be rich.
Furthermore, it is advisable to prepare one’s own meals because doing so is usually less expensive when compared to eating in hotels and restaurants. With the exception of those who are residing in a hotel, one can choose to prepare one’s own meals to reduce daily expenses; consuming all three meals in a day in a restaurant can incur relatively high costs.
For students wishing to continue with their studies in Hong Kong, living in university-provided residence halls or hostels will be a bit cheaper when compared to living off-campus. Rent for residence halls and hostels provided by a university costs tenants HK$5,000-HK$15,000 per semester. However, those who opt to pay rent per month while living off-campus will have to pay HK$30,000-HK$50,000 per year inclusive of food, leisure, transportation, and personal care – the exact amount will, of course, depend on the level of comfort desired.
In summary, Hong Kong is clearly one of the most expensive places to reside in Asia and, indeed, the world. Rent is the primary reason why life in Hong Kong can be expensive. Due to the low number of rental houses in the area, the housing prices are relatively high. Furthermore, Hong Kong is one of the areas with the highest costs of living in the world. Unfortunately, the high cost of living in Hong Kong is not reflective of the living standards as most local people cannot afford comfortable houses due to their higher prices; the majority of the people are middle-class with some people living below the poverty level. Nonetheless, expats will find Hong Kong a good place to live due to the high number of available entertainment options, the calmness of the area, and general tranquility in the country.