Hong Kong is the most expensive location in the world to rent a high-end, three-bedroom apartment, according to the latest data from ECA International.
Within Asia, Hong Kong is followed by Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai, and Seoul, noted the consulting firm, which provides data and software solutions for international HR professionals.
Rents for an unfurnished three-bedroomed apartment in a sought-after area of Hong Kong averaged US$11,550 per month last year.
But while this figure is still the highest in the world, the rents were approximately 2-3 per cent lower than in 2011.
This contrasts dramatically with the 15 per cent average increase in rental property prices in the same segment between 2010 and 2011.
Hong Kong also ranked the most expensive in 2011.
"High demand and limited space have kept rents high for this type of property for some time now, and that remains the case," said Lee Quane, ECA International's regional director for Asia.
"Nevertheless, we have observed fluctuations as confidence in the financial sector - the source of a good deal of demand for high-end property - ebbs and flows due to uncertainty in the euro zone.
"The rise and fall in expatriate numbers as a whole also contributes to fluctuations," said Quane.
To assist companies in deciding what accommodation policy to adopt and what level of housing allowance to provide to international employees posted to Hong Kong, ECA International produces annual accommodation reports for more than 130 countries.
"Expatriates often gravitate towards particular areas of cities because of the location of international schools, embassies or social focal points.
"These tend to be the more expensive, prestigious areas in a city," said Quane.