9/5/2017

Market Update Summary - April 2017

Market Update Summary - April 2017

Padded by tenant decentralisation, net take-up amounted to 52,000 sq ft in March. Wong Chuk Hang continued to attract strong interest with two Government departments reportedly leasing 57,500 sq ft at 41 Heung Yip Road, relocating from offices in Central and Hong Kong East.

In Central, leasing activity remained subdued with the total number of new lettings down 47% m-o-m. PRC demand remained broadly intact with CMB International Capital Corporation leasing 30,000 sq ft at Three Garden Road and Bank of Communications leasing 10,100 sq ft at Man Yee Building to accommodate expansion plans.

Led by growth in the premium Grade A1 market, Central rents edged up 0.5% m-o-m. Rentals across all other office submarkets held steady against a tight vacancy environment.

Despite Kowloon East carrying the highest vacancy among the city’s major office submarkets, rentals remained largely unchanged on the back of expansion and relocation requirements. Still, rentals in the submarket will likely remain under pressure over the near term, with 1.6 million sq ft of new supply set to enter the market this year and slow pre-leasing activity in upcoming new Grade A office buildings.

Investor sentiment remained strong as several smaller units transacted at new record highs, in terms of unit price. According to market sources, a small unit in Lippo Centre Tower Two was sold for HKD 87.9 million (HKD 30,749 per sq ft) and a whole floor at Bank of America Tower was sold for HKD 470.0 million (HKD 34,058 per sq ft), both record highs.

Three commercial/hotel sites in Central, Cheung Sha Wan, and Kai Tak area were released for sale via tender, with closing dates in May 2017. The Murray Road Carpark site (IL 9051), which has a site area of 31,000 sq ft and a maximum buildable GFA of 465,000 sq ft will be the first government site in Central put up for sale in 20 years. The conditions of sale require the purchaser to include a public car park though the floor area can be exempt from GFA calculations if built below grade—subject to the payment of a land premium.

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