How Much Money Do You Need in Hong Kong?


From the SCMP, a survey by Royal Skandia claims that HKers need to earn at least HK$1.5 million (that’s roughly US$195,000) per year (HK$125,000 per month) in order to be happy.  “The survey also showed more than 80 per cent of Hongkongers believed a certain level of income could bring them happiness.”

The SCMP finds a government statistic stating that only 4.2% of people in HK earn over HK$60,000 per month.  No stats provided on how many earn over $125k.  1%? 2%?  The average Hong Kong salary is $12,800 (US$1,664) per month.

And while it’s probably an easy call that more than 4.2% of people in Hong Kong are happy, I kind of know what they mean.

Here’s one way to look at it.  Assume you are going to spend 25% of your monthly income on rent.  That’s roughly HK$3,000 per month for someone with an average salary.  What will that get you?  Looking at GoHome, you can get a 150 square foot flat in Fanling for $2,800 a month.  The same price might bring you 435 square feet in Sheung Shui.  $3,000 a month will get you 250 square feet in Yuen Long or 100 square feet in Fanling.  A monthly car park space in Central can cost more than $3,000 a month.  Go up to $3,900 a month and you can get 120 square feet in Sheung Wan.   The princely sum of $5,000 a month will net you 114 square feet in Tseung Kwan O.

In 1929, Blind Afred Reed wrote a song called How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live.  (I know it via Ry Cooder’s version.)  What was true then is even truer today.



One thought on “How Much Money Do You Need in Hong Kong?

  1. L Vincent


    Lived in HK from 92-99 and visited frequently since. I’d say that article isn’t far wrong, if you want to live somewhere decent as you say, or buy a condo and don’t get wiped out by property value fluctuations, have a decent holiday to get out of the HK pressure cooker, and then actually save some money.

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