Hong Kong Living Costs

Asia's most expensive expat locations

Asia’s most expensive expat locations

Hong Kong is one of Asia’s Top 10 most expensive places for an expat to live. It is possible to spend whatever you earn, particularly if you don’t factor in some of the hidden costs.

So, if you are planning to come to Hong Kong what are the likely Hong Kong living costs?

In arriving at some figures, here’s what hasn’t been factored in:

  • Getting here and the up-front costs, such as deposits, school debentures and ‘one-off’ expenses
  • People/country specific variable costs such as those related to country-of-origin tax, insurance, investments, pensions, children returning for education, property rental (voids/depreciation) etc.
  • Lifestyle variable spending including discretionary spending. For example clothing, club memberships, mobile phone, vehicle ownership and overseas family travel
  • Unpredictable expenses such as unemployment, a spouse being unable to work, repatriation to country-of origin
  • Incidental expenses, such as tutors, laptops and school trips

This list of family expenses is therefore represents your minimum Hong Kong living costs:

  • Apartment rental – district and size dependent. Minimum HK$25K pm in Discovery Bay or Tung Chung, rising to HK$40K pm+ on Hong Kong island
  • Schooling – school/age dependent. ESF’s tuition fees per child for the academic year 2013/14 are as follows:-
    • Primary Hong Kong Schools (Primary 1 to 6) HK$ 70,000  per year
    • Secondary Hong Kong Schools (Year 7 to 11) HK$ 101,400 per year
    • Secondary Hong Kong Schools (Year 12 to 13) HK$ 106,300 per year
  • Tax, roughly HK15% of income, depending on amount and how its structured
  • Groceries (family dependent, excluding lifestyle choices such as imported or premium food), around HK$10K pm
  • Utilities – variable according to apartment size and lifestyle. Around HK$3K pm
  • Domestic Helper (note: liabilities increase with length of service), around HK$4.5K pm
  • Transportation, around $3K pm
  • Local insurances HK$2K pm
  • Mobile phones HK$1,500 pm (2-3 on contracts)

In relating Hong Kong living costs, it is is interesting to refer to household income by district (2011 census)

 

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