If you’re making the move to Hong Kong, the decision of whether to buy or rent your home will inevitably come up. Sadly, there are no easy answers as the Hong Kong real estate market is always volatile. Instead, your decision should be based on the answers to the following questions (which are not meant to be exhaustive but should act as a guideline to your decision-making process).
Expats should look at the length of time they plan to stay in Hong Kong before buying. If you want to make this vibrant city your new home for an indefinite period, buying a home might seem more attractive than renting in the long term. Alternatively, if you aren’t sure how long you will stay or you know that your stay will be two or fewer years, renting is probably the better option.
Can You Afford It?
With the real estate market always so volatile in Hong Kong and the cost of living among the highest in the world, another important question to ask is if you can afford to buy right now, as there is really never a time when things aren’t volatile. Also, can you afford to lose some of that money if you have to sell and then exchange that money into another currency? Although you will get many of the same advantages to owning a property in Hog Kong as you would anywhere else, Hong Kong banks require a large down payment. Renovation fees can also be high, as the cost of building materials is often higher than in other places. If you can afford it and are planning on staying for the long term, buying does allow you to avoid dealing with landlords, raises in rent, and having no authority to make changes to your home.
Are You Willing to do Your Homework?
You’re going to need to devote considerable time to understanding the buying process in Hong Kong before you know that it is the right decision for you. After you ascertain that your finances will allow you to buy, you’ll need to get multiple bank assessments on the property or properties you like. These assessments can have quite a large range depending on the bank, so this is an important step. You will also need to look at particular neighbourhoods for desirability and whether or not you could easily sell your property if the need arose.
Spacious can be an important part of your search for rental properties or homes to buy. As one of the premiere real estate listing agencies in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei and Singapore, we’ve helped many clients locate a home in the right neighbourhood for your needs.