ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong's quality of life is the world's 44th best: report

Meteoric property prices put Hong Kong behind cheaper Asian cities.

Hong Kong slipped one spot to take 44th place in Deutsche Bank’s quality of life index in 2019. Amongst its regional peers, it lagged behind Japan (14th), Singapore (23rd), India (33rd) and Malaysia (39th).

According to the bank’s report, Hong Kong’s salary is the 27th highest amongst the 56 indexed cities, dropping three places after salaries slid down 6% YoY from US$2,550 in 2018 to US$2,399 in 2019.

In terms of rents, Hong Kong maintained its top spot as the priciest city for a mid-range two bedroom apartment, despite rents edging down 1% YoY to come in at US$3,685 in 2019 from US$3,737 in 2018. Disposable income after paying rents declined 18% from US$682 in 2018 to US$557.

Also read: Hong Kong still the world's priciest housing market

Surprisingly, Hong Kong climbed two places to take the top spot as the priciest city for a month of gym membership in the business district at US$125.4. Following close behind was regional counterpart Singapore, with monthly memberships costing US$121.

Car rentals in Hong Kong also placed as the third priciest at US$160.6, despite the 27% YoY dip, the report noted. Monthly public transport tickets also came in at US$67.2, placing the city as the 25th costliest.

Meanwhile, luxury weekend getaways in Hong Kong became relatively cheaper, with people shelling out an average of $1,547 for a holiday compared to its regional counterpart Singapore, where people pay $1,648 for a luxury getaway. Hong Kong slid one place to the 18th spot as the most expensive in the world. Five-star hotel rooms with a view stood at a US$364 price tag, placing the city as the 26th costliest amongst global cities.

Cheap dates in Hong Kong, which comprise cab rides, dinner or lunch for two, two movie tickets, and a couple of beers, ranked 17th in terms of costs, with couples spending US$122 per date. A pint of beer, however, costs roughly US$8.2 in Hong Kong, the fourth highest after Dubai, Oslo and Copenhagen.

Owning an iPhone XS was found to be relatively easier in Hong Kong, with the device coming in at a more affordable US$1,262 price tag, making it the fourth cheapest after Nigeria, the US and Japan.

Whilst foreign exchange rates dipped 1% over five years, Hong Kong’s foreign exchange rates are still the third highest in the rankings, just below Egypt and the Philippines. 

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