Singapore, HK office rents to fall by at least 15 per cent: Report

Hong Kong and Singapore commercial property rents and prices will drop by more than 15 per cent this year as financial services companies keep a lid on growth or shrink, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.

Hong Kong rents will drop by 15 per cent this year and prices by 16 per cent, while Singapore rents will fall 11 per cent and values 20 per cent, Mr Alastair Hughes, Asia-Pacific chief executive officer of the world’s second-biggest publicly traded commercial-property broker, said at a presentation in Sydney.

Global firms have become more mindful of costs amid Europe’s sovereign debt crisis, with companies including Royal Bank of Scotland, Macquarie Group and Daiwa Securities Group among the latest to announce job cuts in the Asia- Pacific region.

Office rental growth slowed to 0.9 per cent across the region in the quarter ended Dec 31, from 2.5 per cent in the previous three months, as rising supply in China and India pushed vacancies higher, Jones Lang LaSalle said last month.

New Delhi will see a 28 per cent rise in supply, followed by Shanghai which will add 25 per cent more space this year, Hughes said today.

Rents and prices in Beijing and Jakarta will be underpinned by strong economic and revenue growth, he said.

“We’ve had a synchronised downturn, but a variable recovery,” Mr Hughes said.

“Some values are growing, like in China and Indonesia, some are flat, like in Tokyo and Seoul, some are falling, like in Hong Kong and Singapore.”

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 22 Mar 2012