Hong Kong

Living in Hong Kong

Iyna Bort Caruso

Hong Kongers have created a fast-paced, multicultural center of international trade and finance. The city, on the South China Sea coast, is gateway to the world’s largest market, mainland China. A one-time British colony, Hong Kong is an autonomous region with a free market economy under China’s principle of  “One Country, Two Systems.” English is widely spoken in this city of seven million and western-style amenities are commonplace. While thoroughly modern, Chinese traditions still run deep.

There’s not much room to build out in this densely populated city so high rise towers are responsible for Hong Kong’s iconic skyline--arguably one of the most beautiful in the world.

Good schools, a highly rated healthcare system and easy access to goods, services and opportunities draw people to the “Pearl of the Orient.”

Residential real estate, among the priciest in the world, is fueled by low interest rates, strong foreign demand, limited inventory and finite space. Elbow room comes at a premium. Big-ticket trophy homes are found in the neighborhood known as the Peak, the highest point on Hong Kong Island and one of the rare areas of townhomes and single-family residences. However one of the most talked-about properties is a residential building designed by famed architect Frank Gehry, his first in Asia. The twisted 12-unit tower called The Opus was completed in 2012.

Residences in Happy Valley also go for top dollar, as do detached homes and luxury apartments in Jardine’s Lookout, an exclusive residential area on the mountain above Happy Valley with views of Victoria Harbour. Mid-Levels is another highly desirable neighborhood. Its luxury high rises offer up spectacular city views. Another sales point: the ability to commute by escalator. A series of covered outdoor escalators, the longest series in the world, connect Mid-Level with downtown in 20 minutes.