Looking for a new apartment can be a stressful experience, especially in Hong Kong where just a few minutes of hesitation could result in losing your dream home to other renters.
To save you from weeks of headaches, we have compiled a list of methods to find the perfect flat – from the most traditional way of using real estate agencies, to the unconventional way of consulting coliving operators.
Real Estate Agencies
Almost anywhere you go in Hong Kong you will run into real estate agency offices. Some agencies are highly localised and specialises only in properties within a specific neighbourhood, such as in Sai Kung or the outlying islands, while some have almost 500 branches in different areas. Below are some of the most prominent local and international real estate agencies in Hong Kong. However, if you are considering this method, be prepared to pay an agency fee!
Midland real estate is one of the biggest property companies in Hong Kong founded in 1973. The company covers residential, industrial and commercial property brokerage services with nearly 500 branches across Hong Kong. Their network and years of experience will guarantee deep market insight to guide you on your search no matter which neighbourhood you are interested in.
Website | 21/F, Tower 1 Admiralty Centre, 18 Harcourt Road, Admiralty
Founded in 1978, Centaline is another big player in the real estate agency market in Hong Kong with up to 400 branches. If you are from China, you might be more familiar with Centaline because they also have over 1,500 branches there. Similar to Midland, Centaline services not only cover residential properties, but also commercial properties, private lands, as well as car park spaces.
Website | 5/F, Tower 1, New World Tower, 18 Queen's Road Central, Central
Founded in 2011, this relatively new agency focuses on providing a premium home-searching experience using their one-agent-one-client approach. The company prides itself on their mobile technology and award-winning website that makes it easier for both home-seekers and homeowners to view and list properties on the go.
Website | 15/F, Wilson House, 19-27 Wyndham Street
Since its entry into Hong Kong in 1994, this American real estate agent franchise company, Century21, now has over 100 branches across Hong Kong and is the third largest real estate company in this region. Their global presence in up to 60 countries worldwide makes them a trusted brand for new arrivals.
Website | Flat 301-2, No.9 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East
Originated from Germany with presence in over 30 countries, Engel Völkers in Hong Kong mainly targets the expat community looking for premium properties. So if you are looking for a high-end apartment on the Peak, a penthouse in Repulse Bay, or a villa in Sai Kung, it might be worthwhile to drop by Engel Völkers' office in Mid-Levels.
Website | Ground Floor, 95 Caine Road, Mid-Levels
Found in the UK in 1855, Savills is among the oldest property companies in the world. As a former British colony, it is no surprise that Savills chose Hong Kong as one of its locations. Offering top-tier options, including spacious duplexes and triplexes, Savills listings are suitable for executives and families in Hong Kong.
Website | 23/F, Two Exchange Square, Connaught Place, Central
Property Listing Platforms
Property listing platforms are where homeowners and real estate agencies can get more exposure on their properties usually in exchange for a small listing fee. There are many property listing platforms in Hong Kong including 28hse, Spacious, Squarefoot, and Property.hk, most of which also come with its own mobile application for on-the-go convenience.
To generate more targeted results, you can filter your search to your preferred neighbourhood, price range, apartment size, and number of bedrooms. Apart from apartment rentals, some of these platforms also have a search function for service apartments, co-living spaces, and second hand furniture and household appliances.
Online market places are platforms where homeowners and agencies can list their properties free of charge, such as on Facebook Marketplace. Here, you are more likely to find direct landlord listings which will allow you to bypass commission fees typically paid to real estate agents. You may also find listings from renters that are breaking lease who might just offer you their furnishers for free if you take over their lease term!
If scrolling through your Facebook feed is among your daily routines, you can also consider joining relevant Facebook groups such as "HK Apartment for Rent" and "Hong Kong Property" to get daily updates on availability in the market.
Carousell is another online market place with a property category. However, as this function is still relatively new, it is more suitable for the local market with minimal listing in English. Online market places with a more western focus include classified websites such as AsiaExpats and Craiglist.
Most of us must be quite familiar with Airbnb by now. While the website categorises itself as an online marketplace for lodging, it differs from our previous category in a way that it charges a service fee from both homeowners and home-seekers for each booking made. In exchange Airbnb offers a secure platform where users can make payments, communicate, and rate and review each other. If you are looking for short-term rentals in fully furnished apartments or a staycation, Airbnb might be the option for you.
Hong Kong has long been known for being a transient city with people constantly coming and going either to visit or for short business trips. As such, serviced apartments are prevalent in the city. While some serviced apartments are quite basic, providing only the apartment, WiFi, and maybe weekly cleaning, some could be very fancy with outdoor function areas, gym, pool, and clubhouse.
In recent years, hotels in Hong Kong are also increasingly starting to offer serviced apartment options to reduce the economic impact that Covid-19 has on their business. However, since most of these apartments have ben converted from what used to be hotel rooms they often are not equipped with a kitchen or a kitchenette.
With higher demand from young professionals for flexibility, stylishly furnished apartments, and a fun and exciting community, Hong Kong finds itself with a growing number of coliving operators. Hmlet is among the leading coliving companies in Hong Kong, focusing on both private and shared accommodations with price points that suit a wide range of budgets, starting from HKD8,000 per month with only 1 month deposit!
All properties are situated in prime locations, within a few minutes walk from an MTR stations to ensure maximum convenience. Moreover, with a minimum stay of just 3 months, it is the perfect option if you are new to Hong Kong and would like to explore different neighbourhoods before settling on your favourite one!
You can find Hmlet homes in areas like Tin Hau, Sai Ying Pun, Mong Kok and many others. Oh, and did we mention? We have properties that are pet-friendly too. Living in a Hmlet means you become a Hmlet member and our members have access to exclusive perks and deals – it's one of the reasons why you should be a Hmlet member.