Friday, 14 May, 2021

Not even the pandemic and political unrest could knock Hong Kong from its spot as the world's most expensive city to rent a luxury apartment

Luxury apartment buildings are seen from The Peak in Hong Kong.AFP / Stringer / Getty ImagesHong Kong is once again the most expensive city in the..

title Luxury apartment buildings are seen from The Peak in Hong Kong.
  • Hong Kong is once again the most expensive city in the world when it comes to renting a luxury apartment, according to a new report.
  • A $10,000 monthly budget in Hong Kong will currently get a renter less than 1,500 of living space.
  • One house in the city is currently being rented for $174,000 a month - or $2 million a year.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

When it comes to the price of luxury real estate, Hong Kong is still on top.

The city retains its title as the world's most expensive city to rent a luxury apartment, per a report from global property consultancy Knight Frank. The report examines the cost of a three-bedroom apartment in a central location across eight different cities.

The news of the city's rental prices comes amidst political turmoil in the city and against the backdrop of the pandemic.

"Over the past couple of years, Hong Kong has not only had the global pandemic to tend with, but also the protests and unrest in the city which many thought could destabilize appetite for the property market," Victoria Garrett, head of APAC residential for Knight Frank, said in a press release.

According to the report, prime rents in Hong Kong stood at $6.70 per square foot at the end of 2020, and a monthly budget of $10,000 would get a renter less than 1,500 square feet of space. In New York City, which ranked No. 2, the same budget would get a renter 2,249 square feet of space.

Singapore, London, and Sydney respectively follow behind Hong Kong and New York City when it comes to the cost of renting a luxury apartment.

Hong Kong has managed to maintain its rental prices amid a wave of protests that erupted in June 2019 and lasted for months over a proposed extradition bill under which Hong Kong residents would be brought to mainland China to be tried. The city is now facing a business exodus, and one projection sees as many as one million people leaving the city in the next five years, per a Bloomberg report.

To date, Hong Kong has recorded more than 11,700 coronavirus cases and 209 deaths, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering (JHU CSSE). The city kept borders mostly closed to foreigners for several months in 2020 and has strict quarantining measures in place for anyone arriving in the city.

A year of records

Hong Kong has clocked various property records in recent months.

In February, a penthouse in The Peak, a famously upscale neighborhood home to billionaires and CEOs, sold for $59 million, becoming the most expensive apartment per square foot ever sold in Asia. The five-bedroom penthouse went for an astounding $17,542 per square foot.

Earlier that month, a 1.25-acre plot in the city sold for $935 million, marking the highest price ever for a government-owned residential property in Hong Kong.

The Knight Frank report only examines apartments, but landed properties in Hong Kong are also known to sell for sky-high prices. In March, news broke that a home in The Peak was being rented out for a city record of $2 million a year. The home stretches across four floors and has a 2,000-square-foot yard.

But even as some parts of the city notch record real-estate highs, other parts of the city are experiencing extreme housing shortages.

The 2021 Demographia International Housing Affordability report from the Urban Reform Institute and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy found that Hong Kong is the world's least affordable city. The report examines the mean multiple - the median house price divided by the gross median household income - in 92 housing markets globally. A mean multiple of 5.1 is considered "severely unaffordable"; Hong Kong's mean multiple far exceeds the benchmark at 20.7.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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