After two-year stints in New York and London, Rob Wilkinson was looking forward to returning to Hong Kong - and finally being able to live a comfortable lifestyle when he got here. 'Hong Kong is where I really started to build my career,' said the 42-year-old investment banker. 'But during my first stint here I was just starting out. Back then I couldn't really afford a nice place to live.' It's a familiar story. First you share, then you branch out on your own into basically whatever you can afford. 'But I knew one of the benefits of working overseas for a while was that if I came back, my company would sort my accommodation for me,' Mr Wilkinson said. 'So I was looking forward to a bit of luxury, a bit of space and of course all that extra money in my pocket.' The package the New Zealander found himself on when he returned to the SAR included a housing allowance that afforded him an opportunity to take his lifestyle up a notch or two. Mr Wilkinson opted for a leased, serviced apartment that came with his company's full recommendation. And things worked out perfectly - for a while. 'I still travel quite a bit and knew that there was a big chance my company might move me on overseas again within a few years. That meant I wasn't keen on settling down in a flat, buying lots of things and laying down roots. So everything seemed perfect.' Unlike the corporate apartment that housed Mr Wilkinson in London, his Hong Kong home came with such extras as a regular shuttle bus into town, a gym, his own small but efficient kitchen, a friendly concierge always willing to help out and all the mod-cons a rising executive could hope for. 'In London, they didn't have the little extras. The fittings in Hong Kong were almost new - basically what they'd done was provided high-end hotel style living.' But while Mr Wilkinson enjoyed that lifestyle for a while, little things began to fray his nerves. 'First, I couldn't open the windows. It sounds like a little thing but it really began to annoy me. And, although I had two bedrooms and more space than I'd had before, I realised I felt edgy all the time. In the end I realised it was all too sterile - I just couldn't make it feel like home.' He said in New York people tended to stay in their corporate apartments for longer periods while here he found his neighbours were coming and going regularly. 'New people moved in and out all the time. It's part of the nature of this city, but I just couldn't get comfortable with all the comings and goings,' he said. Edina Wong, Savills senior director, residential leasing, said: 'The facilities in Hong Kong are very hotel like. In New York and London they call them corporate apartments because that's what they are - apartments. Here they are for shorter stays and it's only been in the past three years that leases have become longer than say three to six months. 'But we have more people now looking for bigger accommodation and looking for longer stays. The way places have been put together here until recently has been for short-term stays and they very much feel like that. It is really temporary accommodation. 'It's only really been in the past 12 months that you've had a lot of people looking for serviced, fully-furnished, long-term accommodation. But it has been difficult because a lot of the places up until now just aren't homey.' The shift in demand came a little bit late for Mr Wilkinson who has now moved back to the United States and has opted to buy a place of his own. 'The facilities in Hong Kong can be fantastic,' he said. 'But I made the mistake of not making enough effort to turn the apartment into a home.'