Hong Kong has a developed residential and commercial real estate market and all multinational agencies can be found here.
The office market gets much attention in the media globally, particularly in the area of Central, for example.
Having said that, you can find boutique agencies as well, focusing on the sales of luxury homes. It’s well-known for having the most expensive residential market.
In this article, I list some of the top real estate agencies, explaining their services and history.
1. Engel Völkers
Engel Völkers was founded in Hamburg in 1977 and is one of the biggest franchised real estate networks in the world.
The company currently employs over 10,000 people in 800 different locations. Chris Liem is the Principal and Owner of Engel Völkers Hong Kong and he previously worked at Lehman Brothers.
Chris has managed to grow the office to around 20 persons and it’s a leading residential and commercial real estate company in the city.
The company has won a number of awards and reached major achievements, including:
- “Best of the Best” Mid-levels Real Estate Agency by Squarefoot in 2012
- BBest Real Estate Agency in Central and Sheung Wan, by GoHome for 2011
Engel Völkers mainly deals with luxury real estate, but also commercial real estate, yachts and aviation.
- Residential sales brokerage
- Residential leasing
- Residential project marketing
- Corporate relocations and orientation
- International property brokerage
- Value add affiliations
- Yacht brokerage, charting and management
Shop A, Ground Floor, 95 Caine Road, Mid Levels, Central, Hong Kong
2. Century 21
Century 21 is one of the biggest franchised real estate networks in the world.
With around 7,000 offices and more than 100,000 professionals in 78 different countries, the company has hundreds of franchised offices in Hong Kong.
One of their most prominent Hong Kong branches was founded by Luke Ng, who’s been in the real estate business since 1994.
He studied at the London School of Economics and University of London, before turning back to Hong Kong, where he grew up.
- Best Property Agency brand – Squarefoot (2017)
- Go Home Awards 2017
Century 21 mainly offers services with sales and leasing of residential properties, but also commercial properties.
The agent helps clients to buy, lease or sell properties. They also manage with auctions.
Office address (head office)
Flat 804, 8/F, Shanghai Industrial Investment Building 48-62 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
3. Cushman & Wakefield
Cushman & Wakefield is a big, international real estate agency having around 45,000 professionals in 70 countries.
John Siu is the managing director of their Hong Kong branch since 2013. He has been in the real estate industry for 27 years and has worked at Cushman & Wakefield since 1996.
Awards won include:
- RICS: Retail Agency Team of the Year (Hong Kong) – 2012
- RICS: Merit in Office Agency Team of the Year (Hong Kong) – 2012
Include mainly commercial properties like factories, retail property, and offices.
- Investment and advisory services
- Asset services
- Sales and leasing
16/F, Jardine House, Central District, Hong Kong
Founded in 1978 and having more than 60,000 employees, Centaline is one of the biggest estate agencies in Hong Kong and in mainland China.
The founder, Shih Wing Ching, was born in China but moved to Hong Kong at an early age where he started the company.
You can often read about Centaline in the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post and how it competes with one of its main rivals, Midland Realty (more about Midlands later).
The company has won many awards, for example:
- Caring Company Logo (2002-2012), organized by The Hong Kong Council of Social Service
- Top Service Awards (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013) organized by Next Magazine
Includes residential and commercial properties, like retail properties and car-parking spaces, just to mention a few.
- Sales and leasing
- Project management
- Mortgage brokerage
5/F, Tower 1, New World Tower, 16-18 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong
5. Midland Realty
Midland Realty was founded by Freddie Wong almost five decades ago and is one of the biggest real estate agencies in Hong Kong.
It’s part of Midland Holdings, listed on the stock exchange since 1995. Midland Realty has grown remarkably over the years and currently employs thousands of professionals in Hong Kong.
Examples of awards won include:
- Henderson Gold Award (awarded to the founder and chairman Freddie Wong)
- Forbes award – “2011 Forbes Asia -Best Under A Billion” and the “Best Return on Long-term Investment Award”
The company manages mainly residential properties, but also commercial properties.
- Sales and leasing
- Mortgage brokerage services
- Immigrant consultancy services
Room 2505-8, 25/F., World-Wide House 19 Des Voeux Road C., Central, Hong Kong
6. Landscope Christie’s International Real Estate
Landscope is a local real estate agency that has, thanks to its achievements, become a member of Christie’s International Real Estate, a big company that deals with luxury property worldwide.
Christie’s International currently has 1,100 offices and 35,000 sales professionals in over 40 countries.
The new name of the company is, therefore, Landscope Christie’s International Real Estate.
Landscope claims that they only employ highly experienced professionals and that the average sales experience of their staff is 13 years.
They’ve also broken a number of records over the years, for example, when they managed to sell a house for almost HKD 730 million.
Koh Keng-Shing (KS) is the founder and CEO of Landscope with decades of experience in the real estate industry. Before founding Landscope, he acted as Executive Director at Savills in Hong Kong.
The company mainly sells luxury residential real estate in Hong Kong.
- Residential sales and leasing
- Investment agency
- Tenders and auctions
- Disturbance claims
- Stamp duty appeal Rates appeal
Units 601-4, 6/F., Sino Plaza, 255-257 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong SAR, China
7. Nest Property
Nest Property was founded by Naomi Reidy in 2012 who is originally from the UK. Before founding Nest, she worked for Colliers International in Hong Kong and has managed to grow the team to a dozen members.
The company is a boutique agency and mainly targets wealthier expats who wish to find more well-designed and unique properties in the upper segment.
In 2020-2021, they won the American Standard property award by Asia Pacific Property Awards.
The company sells residential properties, including everything from beachfront villas to apartments.
- Property sales and for lease
- Corporate Relocations
- High-Yield investment properties
- Serviced Apartments
- Lease negotiation
- Landlord representation
Suite 1301, 233 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
8. Knight Frank
Knight Frank is one of the biggest real estate agencies in the world and opened its first office in Hong Kong in 1972.
Since then, they’ve managed to expand much and currently have offices in Mainland as well, including cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.
The company has won a number of awards over the years, including:
- RICS 2017 – Residential Team of the Year
- RICS 2017 – Professional Consultancy Services Team of the Year
Include all kinds of residential and commercial real estate, for example:
- Retail properties
- Sales and leases
- Land advisory
- Property management
Knight Frank, 4/F Shui On Centre, 6-8 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
9. Colliers International
With more than 15,000 professionals, Colliers International is one of the largest and most well-known estate agencies globally. The company is originally from the US having its headquarter in Seattle.
Nigel Smith is the Managing Director of Colliers International Hong Kong and previously earned an MBA in Real Estate.
Not only does he have almost 30 years of experience in the real estate industry, but has also lived in Hong Kong since 1990.
The company has won numerous awards over the years, including:
- Euromoney Real Estate Awards 2016 – Best Overall Advisor & Consultant Award in Asia
- Euromoney Real Estate Awards 2015 – Best Agency/Letting Advisor and Consultant Award in Asia
- International Property Awards Asia Pacific 2012-2013 – Property Consultancy Award
Include both residential, industrial, and commercial properties.
Colliers International | Hong Kong, Suite 5701, Central Plaza, 18 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Savills is one of the biggest real estate agents in the world and listed on the London Stock Exchange. With thousands of professionals and over 600 offices worldwide, they’ve managed to establish a big presence in Hong Kong as well.
Raymond Lee is the CEO of its China operations, including Hong Kong. Previously studying Business at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, he later started working for Savills in 1989.
Raymond has an impressive track record and received the Real Estate Investment Award from RFP Magazine’s Outstanding Individuals in Asia in 2011.
Include residential properties, offices, investment properties, and more.
- Investment and sales
- Office services
- Project management
- Facilities management
Suite 2114, 21/f, Tower 6, The Gateway, No. 9 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
11. CBRE Hong Kong
CBRE is an American-based commercial real estate company and the world’s biggest in terms of turnover. The company has been based in Hong Kong since four decades back and the office serves as the Asian headquarters.
While CBRE helps large-sized firms with appraisals, leases, investments, and property management, they also provide in-depth market research and reports.
In addition to Hong Kong, it’s a major player in mainland China, Vietnam, Japan, and more.
CBRE primarily manages commercial properties, including retail properties, office space, industrial real estate, and hotels, for example. In addition, they also help Hong Kongers to identify and buy overseas residential properties.
Main markets include the UK, Canada, and Australia.
CBRE provides a wide range of services to commercial real estate clients, including:
- Advisory & Transaction Services
- Capital Markets
- Global Workplace Solutions
- Investment Management (CBRE Global Investors)
- Property Management
- Valuation & Advisory Services
For more information, I recommend you visit their website.
Level 27, One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong
12. Sunshine Property
Sunshine Property is a smaller agency located in Sai Kung, focusing on the areas of Sai Kung and Clearwater bay.
The company has 7 professionals and helps clients to diversify their investment portfolios, focusing on the local as well as growth markets. Markets covered include Portugal, Canada, Thailand, and Japan.
Sunshine Property primarily manages residential properties in Sai Kung and Clearwater Bay.
- Property Sales
- International Investments
Shop 25, Sai Kung Town Centre, Chan Man Street, Sai Kung, Hong Kong
How much do I need to pay in commissions to property agents in Hong Kong?
The commission rate is usually 1% and has been kept at that level for years. This is low by comparison to Southeast Asian countries and where the rate can range between 3% to 6% for newly built apartments.
Despite being as low as 1%, locals have claimed that it’s too high when taking the expensive property prices into consideration.
Can I become a permanent resident if I buy property in Hong Kong?
Unfortunately, you can’t automatically become a permanent resident if you buy property.
You generally need to reside in Hong Kong for at least 7 years, before you can apply for permanent residency (PR). This means you have to be in Hong Kong at least 183 days a year.
For more information, I recommend you to check the government websites and for up-to-date information.
What is the stamp duty for foreigners buying property in Hong Kong?
Foreigners need to pay two different kinds of stamp duties:
- Ad Valorem Stamp Duty (AVD)
- Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD)
The new AVD is set to 15%, previously, it increased progressively up to 8.5%. Worth mentioning is that first time home buyers that are permanent residents are not subject to the higher rate of 15% AVD.
The BSD is set to 15% which makes a property purchase rather expensive, from a taxation point of view.