Smaller expat packages hit HK luxury home rentals

HONG KONG • Expat housing packages are so 2012. Long the golden privilege of the Hong Kong-based finance and banking crowd in Asia, the days of guaranteed housing allowances fat enough to rent a 4,000 sq ft harbour-view home on the Peak or a townhouse in exclusive Repulse Bay for HK$300,000 (S$53,400) a month are high rises

And it is putting a damper on the luxury rental market. In the first quarter of this year, only 7 per cent of Jones Lang LaSalle’s expat real estate clients in Hong Kong were given monthly rental budgets of more than HK$100,000, down from 31 per cent in 2012.

Now, 54 per cent of clients make do with less than HK$30,000 a month, enough for about two small bedrooms squished into 550 sq ft in Central district, compared with 11 per cent four years ago.