Guide on Real Estate Terminology in Hong Kong

Real estate terminology in Hong Kong is quite straight-forward and easy to understand. Below is a list of common terms that you may encounter when reading advertisements or speaking with a real estate agent.

  • Net/Usable Area

    This refers to the property’s floor area, and may include the areas occupied by bay windows, balcony and air-conditioner spaces. All measurements are advertised in square feet.

  • Gross Floor Area

    This normally refers to the net/use-able area, plus pro-rated portions of common areas such as the foyer and lift areas, and is measured in square feet. When asking about the size of a flat, ask for the net or usable area. When an estate agent talks about the efficiency of a property, they are referring to the percentage of the gross floor area that is use-able.

  • Chinese Building/Low Rise

    Refers to older walk-up buildings without elevators. These types of buildings typically have higher ceilings.

  • High Efficiency

    Refers to a well laid out apartment where there is not much wastage of precious usable space.

  • Views

    The view from an apartment, normally abbreviated to:
    S/V – Sea View
    M/V – Mountain View
    G/V – Garden View
    O/V – Open View (This means that no other buildings are obscuring the view of the landscape).

  • Facilities

    A list of recreational facilities, if any, is usually given in the advertisement. Facilities can include tennis courts, gyms, swimming pool, clubhouse and so on.

  • Parking

    Indicates whether the property price includes a car parking space. If none is mentioned this usually means that it does not.

  • “All Inclusive”

    This means that the quoted rate in the advertisement include management fees, government rates etc.

  • “2br”, “3br”

    Indicates the number of bedrooms in the property.

  • “A/C”

    Indicates air conditioning.

  • Maids’ Room

    Many properties in Hong Kong have their own maids’ room, a small room reserved for the domestic help. These usually have their own shower and toilet area. They are not generally use-able for anything else but storage as they tend to be much more basic than any other bedrooms you will find in the property.

  • Simplex/Duplex/Triplex/Penthouse

    A simplex is an apartment that covers one floor, while a duplex is a two-story apartment and a triplex a three-story apartment. A penthouse is usually the top one or two floors of a building and is considered to be the most prestigious.

  • Age of Building

    The age of the building will tell you how old it is. This can be useful because older buildings tend to be more spacious but more dated inside.

  • Floor Zone

    This indicates the level of the apartment. “High” means that the apartment is situated on a high floor where you can generally expect to have better views and a quieter environment, “Low” means just the opposite.

  • Furnished/Unfurnished

    Furnished apartments are generally considered to include all the furniture that you would generally need to live comfortably in an apartment of that size. Where some pieces are not available, such as a bed, this should be specified. Unfurnished properties are usually completely empty. There may not even be curtains or light fittings.

  • Top Class Renovation/Nice Deco/Brand New Deco

    Well-appointed, usually with fully equipped kitchens, bathrooms, newly painted and good flooring.