Duplex or Penthouse
Typically two floors in a high-rise apartment block. On the lower level there is often a study, guest bathroom, living and dining room, kitchen and utility area and the maid’s quarters. Upstairs will be two or three bedrooms and bathrooms. Many penthouses have terrace gardens on the roof. Prices start at around HK$60,000/month.
Old Apartment Blocks
Apartments in old blocks are often large with huge balconies and can range from 1,800 to 3,000 square feet. The bigger places sometimes have two maids’ rooms, a storage room and a guest bathroom. They are less like to have facilities like pools, shuttles or clubhouses. If you like homes with character, this might be your first choice. Rents start at HK$25,000/month.
New Apartment Blocks
New apartment blocks are in high demand in Hong Kong. They have modern bathrooms and kitchen fittings, a wide range of facilities such as clubs with activities like yoga, gymnastics for kids, swimming, squash and tennis, hot and cold pools. Some bigger complexes even have their own supermarkets, restaurants, schools, playgroups, ATMs, shuttle services, hairdressers, parking and play areas. Management fees for modern complexes are usually high, rents start at HK$50,000/month.
Studio flats consist of one room which contains living, sleeping, bathroom and kitchen facilities. Rents start at HK$8,000/month.
Sharing a flat is a good option if you have a limited budget and want to meet new people. Rates depend on the size, the standard and the location of the apartment. Rooms in shared flats in Mid-Levels, Soho, Sheung Wan or Happy Valley usually cost between HK$3,500 and HK$15,000. Anything below HK$3,500 is most likely going to be a bedsit and/or in an old, run-down building. Flatshares are advertised in the South China Morning Post Property section, HK Magazine and by word of mouth. Some flatshares include maid service and club facilities.
Serviced apartments are sometimes attached to hotels, located in upmarket complexes and in commercial and business districts. If you are coming to work on a short assignment or need a place to stay until you find somewhere to live, a serviced apartment can be a convenient, although expensive option. Breakfast, a daily newspaper, maid service, linen changes, fitness club membership, clubhouse facilities, night club memberships and dining discounts are common add-ons. Rental periods can be short or long term, prices range from HK$10,000-50,000/month.
You can find large, exclusive colonial mansions with sprawling gardens and long driveways on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Newer buildings are popping up in the New Territories. Houses are normally owned by the people living in them, but sometimes they are rented out to senior diplomatic officials or business people. For most people, houses are out of reach as rents usually start at HK$150,000 and are much more in many cases.
Townhouses come in different sizes; from small residences to big mansions with four or five levels, lots of stairs, a porch or small garden and parking space. Living in such housing is a rare privilege - not many people in Hong Kong have a private garden or backyard. Rents start from HK$100,000.