Expats in Hong Kong Pay the Highest Rent in The World

Hong Kong has yet again been named as the most expensive city in the world to rent a property according to a study by human resource consultant ECA.

Increases in the number of expatriates who have relocated to Hong Kong over the past two years has fueled rising property rental prices according to the survey results, meaning that it is now more expensive to rent a property in the Chinese SAR than it is in New York, London and Tokyo.

Discussing the results, Lee Quane, regional director for Asia at ECA International discussed how rising property prices are forcing both expats and locals alike to rent property instead of purchasing and he commented: “This has put renewed pressure on the already limited supply of rental property here, resulting in large rent increases.”

The results of the study were based on rental price data for the month of September 2011 from over 130 cities throughout the world. The findings revealed that rental of a three-bedroom apartment in a prime district cost an average of $11,813 USD per month, representing a 15% increase on the previous year. Areas that are popular with expatriates and may therefore incur higher rentals are the Mid-Levels, Repulse Bay and Happy Valley. High-end districts, such as The Peak, were demanding even higher rentals and, according to the survey, the average monthly rental charge for a three-bedroom property in this area of Hong Kong was US$19,900 per month.

Rental for a similar property in Tokyo, the city that was placed second for rental prices, was an average of US$9,450 per month.

While properties in China did not feature in the top ten, properties in Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen ranked 6th, 8th, and 18th respectively in Asia and Quane warned that property prices may rise there in the next few years: “Continuing increases in international assignments into China are creating an ongoing demand for rental property,” he said. “With house prices continuing to fall there, many would-be buyers are looking to rent until the housing market bottoms out.

“These factors, along with municipal measures and tougher lending criteria, have driven an increase in demand for rental accommodation.”

The Top Ten Most Expensive Cities to Rent Properties In the World

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Tokyo
  3. Moscow
  4. New York
  5. London
  6. Caracas
  7. Geneva
  8. Bogota
  9. Singapore
  10. Lagos

* Results based on the cost of a three-bedroom unfurnished property.