Cost of Living in Hong Kong

April 25 , 2021 by: Amanda Goh

Hong Kong is known to have a high cost of living, with some of its cities being the highest in the world. For the past few years, Hong Kong has topped the Mercer’s Cost of Living survey, showing their inflated property market and high grocery prices.

Fortunately, salaries earned are also typically higher than other countries, which will offset these high costs at the end of the day. Thus, expats may also find themselves having a higher quality of life in Hong Kong than back home.

Read on to find out more about the cost of living in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong by Andrzej on Pixabay

Accommodation in Hong Kong

Property in Hong Kong is known to be small and expensive. While there are various different types of housing available, many tend to stay in apartment blocks.

The cost of accommodation will depend on where you decide to reside in. Expats tend to live along the Island MTR line as the area has fairly cheaper apartments. However, if you prefer bigger homes, you can consider living by the beach in Stanley or Repulse Bay.

As the property market in Hong Kong is competitive, renting or buying a house may be pricey. Renting a one-bedroom apartment in Hong Kong may add up to 20,000 HKD (2,500 USD) or more a month. But not to worry, apartments new and old are often renovated to offer quality comfort.

Hong Kong Tram by Pyccnn on Pixabay

Transport in Hong Kong

Although accommodation is pricey in Hong Kong, public transport is fairly cheap and reliable. There are multiple forms of public transportation in Hong Kong including bus services, trams and their Mass Transit Railway (MTR).

Public buses are slightly cheaper than the MRT and also a good way to get around. Buses routes here also cover all of Hong Kong, making it convenient to get around.

Getting an Octopus Card can help to reduce cost of public transportation even further, up to 5%. An Octopus Card can be purchased for 150 HKD and can be topped up whenever.

In contrast, owning a car in Hong Kong is expensive. As public transport is convenient, clean and efficient in Hong Kong, many opt for the cheaper option of taking public transport than getting a car.

Healthcare in Hong Kong

Anyone that holds a Hong Kong Identity Card is able to get subsidised medical services for public healthcare in Hong Kong. Do note that expats without a permanent residency would not be able to receive these benefits.

However, although standard in public healthcare is high, they may lack efficiency due to the system being heavily oversubscribed. Thus, many expats tend to opt for private healthcare.

Hong Kong also has many private hospitals that come with multiple benefits including shorter waiting time. Private healthcare services are definitely more expensive than public services in Hong Kong.

Regardless of what healthcare service you opt for in Hong Kong, you should get health insurance to help cover any costs. It is important that you find a scheme that will help you the most when living in Hong Kong.


Hong Kong herbal store by Andrzej on Pixabay

Food in Hong Kong

As Hong Kong is in close proximity to China, many things, including fresh produce, is imported from there. It is normal to find products imported from China and Western countries in Hong Kong stores.

If you decide to purchase imported goods, you will need to prepare to pay more for them. In Hong Kong, it is easy to find imported goods from various countries in their international shelves. However, do note that imported products can cost up to double of local products and may result in your grocery shopping costs adding up quickly.

Alternatively, you can purchase local produce, but you should be wary of what and where you buy them from — to avoid food scandals.


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