Hong Kong office rents tumble

HONG Kong prime office rents may fall a further 26 per cent this year as the global financial crisis prompts banks and investment companies to control spending, according to a report by property agency Colliers International.

“The prime office market is predicted to experience a further downward adjustment due to the consolidation of the financial markets and the global economic outlook,” Colliers said.

Office rents fell 13.4 per cent in the fourth quarter from the previous three months.

Banks including HSBC Holdings and Standard Chartered have cut jobs in Hong Kong as the economy entered its first recession since 2003. HSBC said in November it had trimmed 500 jobs in Asia,90 per cent of which in Hong Kong. Standard Chartered in December said it would cut200 local positions.

The report, covering 26 places in the Asia Pacific, showed office rents in the region declined 4 per cent on average in the fourth quarter from the previous three months.

“Individual centres with a tenant profile highly geared toward the financial sector have experienced steeper rental corrections in the order of over10 per cent quarter-on-quarter,” Colliers said.

Source : Today – 12 Feb 2009

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