Hong Kong is the crown jewel of Asia and one of the top three financial cities in the world, after New York and London. The legal system is transparent and buying real estate is straight forward, even if you can only get hold of leasehold property.
Even if there are many estate agents in Hong Kong, it can be a daunting task to find one, as many market themselves in Cantonese. Yet, you’ll be able to find a number of international agencies that are used to cater to foreign buyers.
In this article, I’ve listed some of the most popular real estate agents in Hong Kong. Let’s have a look.
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. Over the years, he’s managed to grow the office to around 20 persons.
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
- Named Best Real Estate Agency in Central and Sheung Wan by GoHome for 2011
- Engel & Völkers Hong Kong is the home of the 8th Top Agent in the Engel & Völkers global network for rental transactions
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. They currently have around 7,000 offices with over 100,000 professionals in 78 different countries. Not surprisingly, they’ve set foot in Hong Kong where they have hundreds of offices.
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 London School of Economics and University of London, before turning back to Hong Kong, where he grew up.
Century 21 has won many awards in Hong Kong, including:
- 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.
They help clients to buy, lease or sell properties. They also deal 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.
The company has won a number of awards, such as:
- 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 employ thousands of professionals in Hong Kong.
The company and its management have won a number of awards, including:
- 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, she’s originally from the UK. Before founding Nest, she worked for Colliers International in Hong Kong. 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.
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 | +852 3689 7523
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, he’s 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 from 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
You also have a number of other agencies in Hong Kong to choose among, for example:
- Goodland Agency
- Sunshine Property
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.
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.
What is the stamp duty when foreigners buy 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.
Should I hire a solicitor in Hong Kong?
Even if Hong Kong has a transparent system and the buying process is straightforward, it’s important that you hire a local Solicitor who understands the local regulations, that can check the title and help you draft the different contracts.
Keep in mind that Solicitor will also communicate with your bank, making sure that the money is transferred to the seller’s account.
The solicitor will help you with a number of other things and the cost is lower compared to what you need to pay when hiring your real estate agent.