It’s a big deal when it comes to buying a house in Hong Kong, just because it is so difficult to do so due to the hyper-inflated housing market in Hong Kong.
In English, we say “to buy a house.” But in Cantonese, because most Hong Kong people live in a high-rise, we will say 買樓 maai5 lau2, which means to buy a building to buy a floor.
樓 lau2 itself can mean a building or a floor. But when you say 買樓 maai5 lau2, it sounds like you are buying the whole building or the whole floor, but in most cases, it means a unit.
Here are some valid words that are related to buying a home:
儲 cyu5 – to save
稅 seoi3 – tax
按金 on3 gam1 – deposit
首期 sau2 kei4 – mortgage down payment (lit. first term)
保險 bou2 him2 – insurance