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Hong Kong, Singapore and China Real Estate Salaries

The general theme for salary in Asia is restraint; over half of our respondents have had no salary increases with 1 in 10 reporting pay cuts.

There are nuances trying to identify salary trends across the region, but we are certainly seeing the effects of the pandemic being felt more acutely in city centres where salaries will have been impacted for service providers.

Salaries in Hong Kong and Singapore therefore, which are dominated by offices, shopping centres and hotels have suffered in comparison to China, which has seen less lockdown disruption, an enviable GDP growth rate and has benefited from the rise in online shopping and the capacity for investment into logistics and data centres.


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William Glover, Managing Director - Asia

Key Asia Salary Findings

US $ 9,455

mean monthly salary across Hong Kong, Singapore and China


reduction in those receiving a salary rise since Covid-19


regional gender pay gap

Average Base Salaries in Asia

by Sector (Median)

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Architecture / Design

Median HK $ 48000
(Mean) HK $ 61531


Median HK $ 69667
(Mean) HK $ 92775


Median HK $ 48000
(Mean) HK $ 54613


Median HK $ 65000
(Mean) HK $ 82153

Investor / Fund / REIT

Median HK $ 83333
(Mean) HK $ 95012


Median HK $ 70000
(Mean) HK $ 73000

Service Provider / Consultancy

Median HK $ 50000
(Mean) HK $ 65093

Architecture / Design

Median S $ 10000
(Mean) S $ 10208


Median S $ 11667
(Mean) S $ 13971


Median S $ 10458
(Mean) S $ 7142


Median S $ 12848
(Mean) S $ 9834

Investor / Fund / REIT

Median S $ 14413
(Mean) S $ 12000


Median S $ 10172
(Mean) S $ 7913

Service Provider / Consultancy

Median S $ 12074
(Mean) S $ 10000

Architecture / Design

Median RMB ¥ 58000
(Mean) RMB ¥ 53571


Median RMB ¥ 66667
(Mean) RMB ¥ 65556


Median RMB ¥ 36500
(Mean) RMB ¥ 44964


Median RMB ¥ 45000
(Mean) RMB ¥ 63456

Investor / Fund / REIT

Median RMB ¥ 50000
(Mean) RMB ¥ 92481


Median RMB ¥ 50000
(Mean) RMB ¥ 53185

Service Provider / Consultancy

Median RMB ¥ 45417
(Mean) RMB ¥ 56299

Architecture / Design

Mean US $ 7968


Mean US $ 10874


Mean US $ 7291


Mean US $ 9290

Investor / Fund / REIT

Mean US $ 12467


Mean US $ 8432

Service Provider / Consultancy

Mean US $ 8731

Average salaries by Asset Class, by Location

Salaries vary across areas, with Hospitality and Retail the highest paying in Hong Kong, along with Office and Commercial assets.

Average Salaries by Seniority, by Location

Hong Kong and Singapore show a steady rise in salary by grade, with Chinese salaries jumping 21% at the highest level from SVP.

Regional salary comparisons per Sector*

There are no clear leaders in average salaries across sectors, with each location coming out on top in different areas.

*conversions from local currencies to USD on 07.01.21.

William Buck, Managing Director - Singapore

How Real Estate will measure up in Asia

Singapore has experience much the same kind of impact in 2020 as its rival city state in Northern Asia. Like Hong Kong, the loss of tourists has seen a collapse of sales in the usual tourist haunts of Orchard Road, the desertion of many hotels apart from value hunting ‘staycationers’ and long periods of restriction for F&B establishments.

In the circumstances, it is a tribute to the flexibility and connectivity of the region that there has been a steady hum of activity throughout the year. We have been kept very busy with South East Asian developers, particularly with their projects in China and our private equity and investment clients who probably delayed a lot of hiring until the end of the year. A significant change in the Singapore Real Estate market is that it is becoming the HQ location of choice for many. A number of Real Estate Services providers have relocated HQ to Singapore. Similarly in the Investment world, REIT listings in the Region and new PERE Funds are much more likely to be domiciled in Singapore due the strong regulatory system, tax structure and ease of set-up.

Above all, the growth market of the year has to be in data centres. Macdonald & Company enjoyed a fantastic interview on our Careers podcast series with the founder of Princeton (listen here), a prime example of the fast-growing developers in this space.

Changes to base salary by demographic, before and after Covid-19

45.3% less professionals received a pay rise since Covid-19, with those aged 46-65 more likely to have had a pay cut.

Reason for base salary increase, before and after COVID-19

Changing employers became the main reason for salary increases as the number who have been promoted or have received an increase from annual pay reviews has reduced since the pandemic.

Employees are relatively understanding about conditions and are not pushing for outsize awards this year, so I expect pay rises to be around inflation. There are always exceptions that must be attended to: promotions, people who missed out last year and parts of the business that did exceptionally well and produced outstanding results, but employers are remaining cautious.

William Glover, Managing Director – Asia

Average annual salary by Age Group, per Location

Salaries across Asia peak for the 46-55 age group.

Average (median) base salaries by Gender and Location

Hong Kong leads with the gender pay gap with a 26% pay difference. Singapore's gap is 33% and China at 47%.

We’re pleased to see progress and recognition of the gender pay disparity in Hong Kong, and hope to see the gap close in the future – particularly for China and Singapore. China has shown a significant salary increment compared to Singapore and Hong Kong, for both males and females. This reflects the domestic job market remaining strong despite the global pandemic impact. We notice that the gender pay gap tends to be wider with developers while it is much closer for funds.

Vivian Qin, Director – Hong Kong & China

Year-on-year average salaries in Asia, by Industry

Architecture / Design and Bank sector salaries appear to have bounced back in Asia, with the Occupier sector showing a steady rise.

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