For people new to Hong Kong, looking for a Hong Kong apartment and property to rent short term or long term, or even looking to settle in Hong Kong, here is some information on the living conditions you can expect to find.
According to the 2009 census, Hong Kong has a population of a little more than 7 million people living in an area of 1,104 kilometre squared, making it one of the most densely populated cities in the world. With around 6,364 people living in a square Kilometre, one would think that space for any greenery would be limited, but surprisingly Hong Kong also has a reputation of being one of the greenest cities in Asia. This is due to Hong Kong’s terrain being largely made up of steep mountainous rock, resulting in a limited amount of land suitable for building. With much of the area reserved for country parks and nature reserves, less than 25% of the territory is developed.
Under these circumstances, Hong Kong has developed vertically, with a vast majority of its population living in high rise apartments. You can expect Hong Kong apartments to be relatively small for these reasons. But scenically, this has blessed Hong Kong with a contrasting landscape; one can experience sprawling skyscrapers that has made Hong Kong famous, to vast woodlands and mountain ranges.
Geographically, Hong Kong consists of three main areas Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, and the New Territories which adjoins to Shenzhen, China to the North. Together with the Northern part of Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula, they form the core Urban Area of Hong Kong with nearly half of the population residing there. Interestingly, through land reclamation efforts, the Harbour that divides these two areas has diminished rapidly in the last few decades to nearly half of its original size, some joke that eventually you can walk from Kowloon to Hong Kong.
Different areas can offer completely different lifestyles and different types of Hong Kong apartments. Hong Kong Island is known as the heart of Hong Kong where the financial districts lie, majority of expatriates choose to reside here in the apartments of Hong Kong Island where they are closer to the business districts and the abundant nightlife on offer. Alternatively, in the smaller surrounding Islands, a quieter and greener lifestyle can be found, with traditional low rise townhouses, free from the noise and bustle of the city.
To the north on the Kowloon Peninsula there is are an increasing amount of luxurious and modern Hong Kong apartment buildings, and an expanding commercial sector, slowing changing the traditional view of the Peninsula as being a more local region with older and more dense apartment housing. Further up in the New Territories you can find a less densely populated area with more affordable apartments and low-rise flats on offer, areas such as Sai Kung has become a popular expatriate location, with increasingly more infrastructure developed to cater for the demand.
Information on Living Conditions in HK provided by Home Net, Licensed Property Agency.