When one chooses to uproot himself from a country he has called home for the last 40 years (save 3 years in Australia), there are some key considerations that need to be satisfied before he even decides if the offer is worth consideration.
Of course, the location of the target move is of paramount importance. Standard of living, health & safety, culture, schooling, are all dependant on how well the country is governed. And by extension, usually determines if one would feel willing to relocate oneself there.
So, while I did the normal and usual comparisons, and going to Hong Kong wouldn’t result in a drop in my standard of living, hardship, etc, the next few things that come to mind was housing and transportation.
Now, for two countries that are fairly similar in size, population and development, we couldn’t be more different than Hong Kong. In Singapore, public housing are on average, above 700sq feet. Normal 4 room apartments are at least 1,100 sq feet. And this would be close to 100% floor efficiency. In Hong Kong, if they advertise 1,100 sq feet, you’d be lucky to get 900 sq feet. Floor efficiency is usually aroun 80% efficiency. What this means is that your remaining 200 sq feet went to the club house and the swimming pool below.
You think that’s bad? In Hong Kong, most apartments don’t come with parking. What do I mean? Best way to do this is through an example. My friend bought his new apartment for SGD 3 million. He doesn’t get a carpark lot. Out of his apartment block of 500 units, they only built 200 lots. So, how? Well…. They ballot. Wait wait wait…. Before you can ballot, you have to take a queue number to ballot. Because, people owning larger and more expensive aprtments in the development gets to go first. So… Assuming you got your queue number, and you managed to ballot for a lit, each carpark lot costs in excess of SGD800 per month. Most people just buy the lot for SGD300k.
So, I have to say, we are extremely blessed in Singapore!
Then, what about cars? Well, the strange thing here is that Hong Kong people are not as car crazy as Singaporeans. Most of them rather take public transportation. And they’re not swayed by low car prices! A friend bought an Audi A4 for SGD55k. Can you imagine that!? Wow….. perhaps one of the reasons why Hong Kong folks don’t feel an over arching need for owning cars, is because of the excellent public transport there.
So, I guess you’d have to give and take when comparing. There are bound to be some good and some not so good. More importantly, we need to find a good church….. 🙂