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A Vancouver expat experiences Hong Kong rental shock


After I told people I was moving to Hong Kong for work, those who’d lived in the city before mentioned two certainties.

One: The heat, where the humidity gets trapped in between the high-rise buildings, would be a difficult adjustment.

Two: I should get used to paying an exorbitant amount of money for rent.

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After two months in the city, I can say both have proven true.

In Vancouver, I had become accustomed to chopping off a significant amount of income for housing. When I left in June, the average rent for a one bedroom apartment was $2,090 – the highest in Canada according to PadMapper and one of the highest in North America. But Hong Kong has the dubious distinction of being one of the world’s most expensive places to live. A recent Walletwyse study ranked it fifth globally, with a median rent for a one bedroom at US$2,450 ($3,197).

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