Hong Kong banking expats endure relatively austere times in living quartersImage credit: Jerome Favre/Bloomberg
With dwindling expat packages, foreign bankers in Hong Kong are saying goodbye en masse to marble Jacuzzis and The Peak balconies.
Bloomberg reports that Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) has seen a halving in the number of foreign financiers with corporate packages who are seeking residential leasing and relocation services.
According to JLL, 54 percent of their expatriate clients in Hong Kong had monthly rental allowances of less than HKD30,000 (USD3,860) a month for the first quarter of 2016. Meanwhile, only 7 percent of clients benefited from allowances starting at HKD100,000 (USD12,880) a month.
Companies are now wont to pay for quasi-expat packages with a less expensive housing subsidy or salary adjustments instead, Bloomberg reports.
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These upheavals are occurring as Hong Kong grapples with falling housing prices – a level unseen since the deadly SARS epidemic of 2003 – and worsening job cuts.
Real estate agency Executive Homes Hong Kong Ltd observed that its partners now subsisted on cash packages from HKD80,000 (USD10,300) to HKD100,000 (USD12,880), as opposed to previous offers of HKD150,000 (USD ).
On 17 May, a large residential government site in Tai Po, Hong Kong sold for HKD4.02 billion (USD517.54 million ), or just HKD3,620 (USD470) per sqft, the South China Morning Post reports. For comparison, a residential site in Shanghai’s Pudong district overshot expectations and sold for CNY5.45 billion (USD828.45 million) the day after.
Meanwhile, Barclays Plc has eliminated hundreds of Hong Kong-based jobs since January.
It’s not all doom and gloom, however. Bloomberg reports that international fashion houses and global multinationals are still known to offer expat execs with packages as high as HKD300,000 (USD38,620).
Hong Kong’s average monthly household income is HKD24,800 (USD3,190).