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foodpanda擴充 平25%租時代廣場2層


疫情衝擊商務活動,不過亦有個別行業疫市下生意不跌反升,更可趁商廈租金下跌有所擴充。外賣平台foodpanda,租用銅鑼灣時代廣場兩層寫字樓,達3.8萬平方呎,作為擴充業務及升級。至於經營網購的HKTVmall,據悉亦擴充物流中心樓面。業內人士指,租金下跌加上疫情緩和,個別企業近期重啟擴充,惟僅佔少數。

市場消息指,銅鑼灣時代廣場寫字樓錄得大手租務,涉及2座23及24樓全層,每層面積約1.9萬平方呎,合共約3.8萬平方呎,以每平方呎約45元租出。據悉,該廈高峰期呎租高見60元,如今回調約25%,亦是近期較少錄得大手租務。

涉3.8萬呎樓面 呎租約45

據了解,新租客為外賣平台foodpanda,該品牌最近從多方面宣傳,包括請來知名藝人拍廣告。事實上,疫情期間因晚市禁堂食及市民減少外出,叫外賣的比例大幅增加,令該平台甚受歡迎。

今年首4個月,foodpanda在香港外賣市場市佔率達51%,位居首位。據悉,該公司目前租用上環商廈,如今預租時代廣場兩層作擴充業務,亦可升級至銅鑼灣地標商廈。

另外,支付服務商BBPOS亦有所擴充業務,消息指,集團原租用荃灣如心廣場低層單位約1.6萬平方呎,如今擴充至全層,面積約2.1萬平方呎,呎租料22元。該公司為全球大型支付終端供應商及首批供應行動刷卡機公司。

除了商廈外,亦有企業擴充物流中心樓面。消息指,青衣豐樹物流中心全層單位,面積約14.7萬平方呎,以每平方呎約15元租出。

據了解,新租客為經營網購的HKTVmall,集團早於2016年,租該廈全層樓面,如今擴充業務。

疫情期間市民網購需求上升,該公司生意在疫情下大增,故需要更多樓面,作儲倉等之用。

代理:機構控成本 租金仍向下

對於有個別行業進行擴充,代理分析,疫情下涉及網購、外賣及科技等公司,生意沒受明顯影響,甚至上升,經過一年疫情後,相關機構預計後市轉好,有擴充業務空間。

同時,商廈租金過去一年下跌,機構若生意保持穩定,便趁租平擴充寫字樓。整體市況上,該代理指出近一兩個月市場上漸有機構查詢擴充業務,情況是去年極罕見,惟整體來說不算多,機構仍以控制成本為主,故相信商廈租金仍會向下,空置率未見明顯回落,而九龍區因租金較便宜,亦吸引機構搬遷省租金,跌幅較低,全年料跌1至2%。

(經濟日報)

更多時代廣場寫字樓出租樓盤資訊請參閱:時代廣場寫字樓出租

更多銅鑼灣區甲級寫字樓出租樓盤資訊請參閱:銅鑼灣區甲級寫字樓出租

 

中環甲廈呎租111.8元 跌1.1%

商廈空置率偏高,租金持續向下。數據顯示,中環整體甲廈租金按月仍跌約1.1%,過去一年租金跌約14%。

較去年跌約14.1%

據代理每月商廈租金統計顯示,中環整體甲廈呎租報111.8元,按月跌約1.1%,較去年跌約14.1%,而區內超甲廈呎租為131.3元。

中環租金跌幅略為收窄,而上月甲廈租金跌幅,主要來自邊綫地區,如銅鑼灣最新呎租為60.5元,按月跌3.1%,而鰂魚涌租金亦較上月跌約2.3%,兩區跌幅較核心區為高。

近期市場錄得租務不算多,中區租務主要來自搬遷活動,包括中國人壽富蘭克林資產管理租用交易廣場全中高層全層,面積約1.3萬平方呎,呎租約120元,機構原租用同區長江集團中心 3樓,如今作出搬遷。此外,同區亦錄律師樓租用約克大廈 3層,亦屬同區搬遷。

外資預租太古坊二座 港島最大

本年港島區最大宗租務成交於港島東錄得,私人銀行瑞士寶盛,預租明年落成的太古坊二座多層,涉約9.2萬平方呎樓面,平均呎租約65元。機構現租用中環國金一期等樓面,搬遷料可節省大筆租金。

代理指出,疫情下機構「去中環化」大勢持續,以節省租金支出,該行預計港島東有新商廈落成,吸引中環租客遷至,料該區租金水平及空置率相對穩定。

(經濟日報)

更多交易廣場寫字樓出租樓盤資訊請參閱:交易廣場寫字樓出租

更多長江集團中心寫字樓出租樓盤資訊請參閱:長江集團中心寫字樓出租

更多約克大廈寫字樓出租樓盤資訊請參閱:約克大廈寫字樓出租

更多中環區甲級寫字樓出租樓盤資訊請參閱:中環區甲級寫字樓出租

更多銅鑼灣區甲級寫字樓出租樓盤資訊請參閱:銅鑼灣區甲級寫字樓出租

更多鰂魚涌區甲級寫字樓出租樓盤資訊請參閱:鰂魚涌區甲級寫字樓出租

 

金鐘指標甲廈 力寶中心放租 海富中心兩戶放盤

本地疫情緩和下,市場接連錄得多宗商廈大樓面租賃成交,當中不乏核心區甲廈獲青睞,反映企業對經濟前景重拾信心,對設立辦公室據點態度轉趨樂觀,而中環商業地王截標在,勢必進一步推高核心地段甲廈市場氣氛,誘使不少業主乘時推售單位,而屬金鐘指標甲廈的力寶中心海富中心,分別有連裝修優質單位放盤。

力寶中心連裝修戶 每呎叫租40

代理指,有業主放租金鐘區甲級寫字樓,分別為金鐘道89號力寶中心一座高層07至08室,面積約1,680平方呎,現以每平方呎約40餘元招租,單位望山景,景致舒適開揚,同時附有寫字樓全裝修,並已分間經理房及會議室等,亦將連部份傢俬出租,為準租客節省一大筆裝修費及翻新時間,屬現時市場上最受歡迎的租盤之一。

海富中心高層連約 呎價3.5

至於,另外兩個單位,均位處金鐘夏愨道18號海富中心一座,分別放租及放售,出租單位位處中高層20室,面積約946平方呎,意向呎租約45元;單位已備有寫字樓裝修,租客可即租即用,為物業增加吸引力;而放售的單位屬同層21室,面積約943平方呎,現以意向呎價約3.5萬元放售,上址連租約,現時每平方呎租金收入約48元,租期至2023年,適合投資者購入收租。

參考市場上兩幢甲級寫字樓新近成交,其中力寶中心一座中層10至11室,面積約2,440平方呎,以約14.6萬元租出,平均呎租約60元,而海富中心一座新近租務成交,可參考高層單位,面積約2,041平方呎,月租約10.9萬元,平均呎租達53元。

該代理指,受社會事件及新冠肺炎疫情影響,與經濟環境相聯繫的寫字樓市場已沉寂好一段時間,而經過近兩年調整期,疫苖面世加上通關事宜逐步落實,寫字樓市場漸露曙光,外資及內地企業過去一段時間都難抵港物色寫字樓,而隨着經濟市道有所好轉,本港核心區甲級商廈價格又見回調,料上述租、賣甲廈單位可吸引租客及投資者青睞。

(經濟日報)

更多力寶中心寫字樓出租樓盤資訊請參閱:力寶中心寫字樓出租

更多海富中心寫字樓出租樓盤資訊請參閱:海富中心寫字樓出租

更多金鐘區甲級寫字樓出租樓盤資訊請參閱:金鐘區甲級寫字樓出租

更多海富中心寫字樓出售樓盤資訊請參閱:海富中心寫字樓出售

更多金鐘區甲級寫字樓出售樓盤資訊請參閱:金鐘區甲級寫字樓出售

 

商業活動需時恢復 空置續高企

環球疫情緩和,惟商業活動需時恢復,機構仍以收縮業務為主,需求未見反彈,加上供應漸多,空置率高企料維持一段時間。

第4波疫情近尾聲,市民接種疫苗加快,本地疫情受控,商業活動陸續重啟,包括市民重新外出消費,帶動零售市場。至於寫字樓租務市場,始終關鍵是環球局勢。歐美接種疫苗加快下,疫情大幅改善,陸續放寬防疫措施,商業活動慢慢恢復。

4月甲廈空置9.5% 升0.1百分點

本港甲廈新租務需求,多來自外資跨國機構租樓面,疫情期間環球封關,令甲廈活動大減,商廈連續多季錄得負吸納情況。目前環球疫情改善,惟跨國企業重新擴充海外業務,仍要待各國通關,現時似乎尚有一段距離。

據代理最新數字顯示,4月底整體甲廈空置率為9.5%,按月升0.1個百分點,而中環甲廈空置率為7.5%,按月升0.2個百分點,而尖沙咀及東九龍,仍維持雙位數。從而可見,甲廈租務活動仍疲弱,最近錄得租務,多來自機構搬遷,包括中環同區搬遷,或遷出中環以節省租金,卻極少擴充個案,故整體甲廈吸納情況未有明顯改善。

下半年展望上,目前為止環球仍有不少地區疫情仍頗嚴峻,環球商務活動仍難以短時間回復疫情前,相信新需求難以大幅反彈,令本港甲廈商廈高空置情況仍持續。值得留意,明年將為甲廈高峰期,多達300萬平方呎樓面推出,並分布在核心區中環、非核心區港島東,新興商業區啟德,供應大幅增加,機構更多選擇作搬遷,令租金進一步受壓,而空置率料短期也難回調。

(經濟日報)

更多中環區甲級寫字樓出租樓盤資訊請參閱:中環區甲級寫字樓出租

更多尖沙咀區甲級寫字樓出租樓盤資訊請參閱:尖沙咀區甲級寫字樓出租

更多九龍灣區甲級寫字樓出租樓盤資訊請參閱:九龍灣區甲級寫字樓出租

更多觀塘區甲級寫字樓出租樓盤資訊請參閱:觀塘區甲級寫字樓出租

 

麥格理再退租國金一期樓面 中金公司每呎120元頂租 平舊約33%

在新冠肺炎疫情下,不少企業改變工作模式,減少租用寫字樓樓面,從而節省租金開支。澳洲投資銀行麥格理原租用中環超甲級商廈國際金融中心一期 (下稱國金一期) 4層共8萬方呎樓面,去年初提早退租1.6萬方呎樓面後,新近再退租多1萬方呎樓面,先後撤出共2.6萬方呎樓面,逾一年內縮減32.5%租用面積。最新退租的18樓1萬方呎樓面,已由中資的中金公司頂租,呎租120元,較麥格理承租的租金下跌33.3%。

僅餘5.4萬呎 較首次入駐縮55%

據了解,麥格理自2008年起租用國金一期18樓至23樓共6層,總租用面積約12萬方呎,作為香港區總部。經多年續約及減租樓面後,在2019年續租時只餘下18、20、22及23樓共4層,租用面積共約8萬方呎,呎租約180元,涉及月租約1440萬元,租期至2022年9月底。

不過,其後本港受社會事件及新冠肺炎疫情的連番打擊,經濟環境急轉直下,不少跨國企業收縮規模以節省開支。麥格理去年4月率先提早逾兩年退租20樓3室至15室共13個單位,租用面積共1.6萬方呎,令該層只餘下約4000方呎繼續租用。據悉,該1.6萬方呎提早退租單位,已由共享工作空間承接。

雖然麥格理去年已減租樓面,但縮減規模的步伐持續,最新再進一步減租18樓5室至14室共10個單位,涉及租用面積共1萬方呎,只繼續租用該層一半樓面。連同去年4月退租的20樓在內,麥格理在過去超過一年時間內,共減少租用2.6萬方呎樓面,佔2019年續租總面積約32.5%。現時只餘下5.4萬方呎樓面繼續租用,較2008年首度租用國金一期的樓面,大幅削減55%規模。

市場人士表示,麥格理早在去年底推出18樓的樓面招頂租,至近期因應市況好轉,獲得中資中金公司洽租,終以每呎120元頂租相關樓面,月租約120萬元,呎租較麥格理兩年前續租時的180元低33.3%。資料顯示,中金公司在國金一期早已承租兩層半樓面,但依然在同一大廈內尋求位置作擴充。

私銀寶盛港總部遷太古坊二座

反之,外資以縮減規模、節省支出為主,瑞士私人銀行寶盛集團 (Julius Baer Group Ltd) 早前亦決定,把香港總部由國金一期遷到明年落成的鰂魚涌甲級商廈太古坊二座。該行現時租用國金一期37樓至39樓共3層,租用面積共4.8萬方呎;另在同區交易廣場二座承租兩層,面積共2.5萬方呎,日後將一併整合中環兩個辦公室至非核心區商廈,料可減少租金開支最少逾六成。

(信報)

更多國際金融中心寫字樓出租樓盤資訊請參閱:國際金融中心寫字樓出租

更多交易廣場寫字樓出租樓盤資訊請參閱:交易廣場寫字樓出租

更多中環區甲級寫字樓出租樓盤資訊請參閱:中環區甲級寫字樓出租

 

嘉民斥3.68億購九龍灣貨運中心

工廈物業有價有市,再錄大手成交,九龍灣三湘九龍灣貨運中心高層全層,以3.68億連8個貨車位售出,買家為澳洲嘉民物流集團。

據土地註冊處資料顯示,三湘九龍灣貨運中心高層全層,於上月中以3.68億成交,買家以公司名義TAI YIP INVESTMENTS NO.2 LIMITED登記,公司創辦成員為GOODMAN ASIA LIMITED,註冊董事為李偉豪及BAGGIE HUGH JOHN SIDDELEY。

據業內人士指出,上述成交連8個上落貨車位,全層面積約69700方呎,呎價約5279元;同時,資料顯示,嘉民物流集團於今年3月以1.82億購入該廈低層B室,連4個上落貨車位成交,故該集團於3個月內合共斥資5.5億購入該廈單位。

面積約6.97萬呎

該外資集團近期於本港頻頻購入工廈物業,資料顯示,於今年2月以5.7億向森信紙業購入觀塘海裕工業中心半幢業權。該集團於多區均設有物流中心。於2018年更以27.51億投得屯門小冷水路物流地皮,樓面呎價約3228元。

另一方面,甲廈市場亦錄租賃成交,市場消息指出,金鐘力寶中心一座低層01室,面積約1991方呎,以約79640元租出,呎租約40元,屬市價水平。

(星島日報)

更多力寶中心寫字樓出租樓盤資訊請參閱:力寶中心寫字樓出租

更多金鐘區甲級寫字樓出租樓盤資訊請參閱:金鐘區甲級寫字樓出租

 

耀才葉茂林2.1億購怡和街鋪 鄧成波家族連環沽貨 佳明兩億購鐵路大廈

「鋪王」鄧成波於上月突離世,該家族陸續沽貨套現,最新售出銅鑼灣怡和街麥當奴大廈地鋪,由耀才證券主席葉茂林以2.1億承接,另外,旗下尖沙嘴漆咸道南鐵路大廈地鋪亦以2.068億售出,買家為佳明集團。鄧成波家族於兩日內連環沽出6項物業,套現約6.85億。

佳明集團昨日公布,以2.068億購入鐵路大廈地下B鋪,面積約6700方呎,呎價30866元,而連同毗鄰的商鋪 (現為旗下新盤明翹匯售樓處),該集團全數擁有鐵路大廈地下商鋪業權。

葉茂林:疫情回穩睇好後市

佳明集團營業及市務總監顏景鳳表示,是次成交價屬合理水平,該物業具穩定租金回報,並可配合集團物業發展大方向,市區優質鋪位屬罕有供應,鐵路大廈位處區內商業區,各項配套均不俗。

該集團現時全數持有鐵路大廈地下連地庫及1樓鋪位,樓面約3.05萬方呎,另外,該集團總部亦設於同一辦公大樓的18、19及22樓,總樓面積約6.29萬方呎。

顏景鳳:具穩定租金回報

據土地註冊處資料顯示,原業主以公司名義財邦有限公司持有,註冊董事為鄧成波及鄧耀昇。

兩日售六物業套現6.85

另一方面,該家族亦售出銅鑼灣怡和街46至54號麥當奴大廈地下A及F地鋪及地庫全層,作價約2.1億,買家為耀才證券主席葉茂林,以總樓面約7566方呎計,呎價約27756元。資料顯示,鄧成波家族於2016年以2.038億購入,持貨5年帳面獲利僅620萬,物業期間升值約3%。

葉茂林昨日向本報表示,該鋪位處核心區地段,租金收入達45萬,享租金回報約2.57厘,屬不俗水平,隨疫情逐步回穩,他對後市感樂觀,環球經濟持續量寬,手上資金亦需尋找出路。

(星島日報)

更多鐵路大廈寫字樓出售樓盤資訊請參閱:鐵路大廈寫字樓出售

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Hong Kong home prices join global surge

Global house prices are rising at their fastest rate since 2006, with home prices in Hong Kong rising 2.1 percent for the year ended March, the latest report by property agency shows.

Its Global House Price Index, which covers average prices across 56 countries and territories, increased 7.3 percent in the year to March.

Hong Kong was placed 46th on the list in terms of 12-months growth among those markets.

In Hong Kong, Wing Tai Properties (0369) will launch 37 units of Oma Oma in Tuen Mun on Sunday, 5-7 percent more expensive than the last batch.

The developer revealed a new price list yesterday. It covers studio flats to three-room units with an average price of HK$14,678 per square foot after discounts. Among them, 31 flats are priced at below HK$10 million.

In other news, Hip Shing Hong named its project at No 5 Victory Avenue in Ho Man Tin as Madera Garden. The developer plans to start sales this month. It will upload the brochure and price list and open a show flat to homebuyers within the month.

David Fong Man Hung, managing director of the developer, estimated housing prices would rise by 5 percent to 7 percent this year. However, he said he did not expect prices to surge as citizens are facing challenges to afford a home.

In the commercial market, more properties of the late property tycoon Tang Shing-bor, also known as Uncle Bor, were sold by the family.

Tang's family sold a shop at 39 Chatham Road South in Tsim Sha Tsui and another at 165 Sai Yee Street in Mong Kok for HK$324 million combined.

This means that the family has sold a total of 10 properties in the past couple of weeks, cashing in more than HK$900 million.

Separately, Chow Sang Sang Jewellery (0116) said the company's sales in recent quarters have recovered, thanks to a low base from a year earlier, and it is maintaining a target of opening 100 stores this year.

The company said it will install Octopus devices in local jewelry stores to prepare for the upcoming digital voucher scheme.

(The Standard)

 

Hong Kong’s rising home prices, luxury flat sales push property deals to a two-year high at US$11.3 billion in May

Turnover rose 2.9 per cent month on month to HK$87.6 billion (US$11.3 billion) last month, the highest after HK$90.32 billion reached in May 2019

Property agent expects first-half turnover to reach an all-time high of HK$395 billion, surpassing the previous record set in the first half of 1997

Bullish investors pushed the value of property transactions in Hong Kong to a 24-month high last month, helped by rising house prices and luxury flat sales.

The value of transactions rose 2.9 per cent month on month to HK$87.6 billion (US$11.3 billion) in May, according to figures from Land Registry on Wednesday. It was the highest since May 2019, when the turnover stood at HK$90.32 billion.

However, overall transactions, including homes, shops, industrial and office units, eased 2 per cent month on month to 8,965 in May, the government data showed.

“The data indicates more demand for expensive properties, as homes worth more than HK$10 million recorded significant growth last month,” property agent said. The trend will continue this month, the agent added.

Amid growing optimism over the strength of Hong Kong’s economic recovery and the pandemic being brought under control in the city, an increasing number of investors are choosing to park their capital in property. Hong Kong ended six consecutive quarters of economic decline caused by the coronavirus pandemic, posting a 7.8 per cent growth in the first quarter, the strongest in 11 years. Unemployment fell to 6.4 per cent in April from 7.2 per cent in February.

The agent pointed to the success of new project launches, most of which were sold out last month. He said close to 300 out of 380 units at South Land project near Wong Chuk Hang MTR station were sold at an average price of over HK$20 million, while the number of transactions of lived-in homes costing more than HK$10 million climbed to 1,064 deals, the highest in two years.

Hong Kong’s lived-in home prices also extended gains for the fourth straight month in April, taking them to their highest level since July 2019, data from Rating and Valuation Department showed last week. They are within about 1.5 per cent of a historic high recorded in May 2019, before the anti-government protests kicked off.

With more potential investors hastening their buying decisions fearing further increase in home prices, the number of new homes sold jumped 47.8 per cent month on month in May to 1,558, while their value rose to HK$26.9 billion, the most since HK$32.6 billion reached in May 2019, property agency said.

Apart from luxury flats, investors were also channelling capital into car parking spaces, taking advantage of the removal of extra stamp duty on non-residential transactions in November.

The agent said sales of car parking bays jumped 18 per cent month on month in May.

the property agency said that the buoyant property market sentiment could push first-half transactions to an all-time high of HK$395 billion and in the process overtake the previous record of HK$388.8 billion set in the first half of 1997.

(South China Morning Post)

 

The Executive Centre bought by KKR and Tiga Investments as pandemic spurs consolidation of Hong Kong’s flexible workspace sector

Deal marks the latest consolidation in an industry that has been restructuring amid the global downturn triggered by Covid-19

TEC has more than 150 centres in 32 cities and 14 markets, including China, Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia and the Middle East

Hong Kong-based flexible workspace provider The Executive Centre has been acquired by private-equity firm KKR and Tiga Investments for an undisclosed amount, the company announced on Tuesday.

It marks the latest consolidation in an industry that has been restructuring amid the global downturn triggered by Covid-19.

“We are pleased to welcome KKR and Tiga Investments to The Executive Centre as our new investors,” said Paul Salnikow, founder and chief executive officer of TEC. “It’s a powerful partnership, well matched to drive the continued performance and growth of TEC.”

The acquisition indicates the confidence of investors in the flexible office space segment, according to analysts, even as the likes of US-based WeWork have been giving up space in Hong Kong.

WeWork has reduced its footprint by more than half since the coronavirus pandemic triggered widespread work-from-home arrangements last year.

The consortium of KKR and Singapore-based Tiga acquired its stake from funds advised by HPEF Capital Partners and CVC Capital Partners, which owned 70 and 20 per cent of TEC respectively. HPEF was an investor in TEC since 2005, and CVC since 2014.

TEC declined to discuss the acquisition terms but in 2019, amid the social unrest that brought Hong Kong to a standstill, the company paused its decision to go public and sell shares for US$750 million, which would have allowed HPEF and CVC to dispose of their stake in the company.

“KKR and Tiga are acquiring a strongly profitable business at every level,” said Salnikow, who reiterated that the company is still pursuing a long-term growth target of 20 per cent in terms of expansion. TEC currently has more than 150 centres in 32 cities and 14 markets, including China, Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia and the Middle East. Its annual turnover is in excess of US$237 million.

“The long-term growth rate of 20 per cent is still something that we want to achieve over the next five years, but will we continue to grow 20 per cent this year, next year, and the year after? Unlikely. The right opportunity [will come from being] more thoughtful about expansion this year and taking advantage of market opportunities more aggressively in 2022 and 2023,” said Salnikow.

TEC is adding more centres this year in Tokyo, Hong Kong and India and has a line-up of expansions in Australia.

The acquisition of TEC was “expected”, given that the segment has been consolidating, according to property agent.

“With the economy rebounding, many businesses are taking a cautiously optimistic approach to expanding,” the agent said. “Flexible working space provides are a perfect platform for these companies as they do not need much upfront capital investment to set up.”

The flexible office space, or co-working, segment can provide a solution for companies adapting to a new normal in which employees spend more time working from home.

“We believe flexible office leasing will remain a long-term strategy for occupiers,” another agent said.

The consolidation in the industry in Hong Kong began in 2019, when the city was riven by political instability, and continued last year when the pandemic hit. This served to “eliminate some weak players”, according to another agent.

“In the long term, co-working space is viable, but operators should provide more value-added services to tenants such as organising business activities and seminars,” the agent said.

(South China Morning Post)

 

Hong Kong’s street shops in flux as pandemic upends businesses, creates new opportunities

April saw 186 shop transactions, an 18 per cent increase over March, stretching a rally of three months and marking a 56-month high

The worst has passed, as far as shops are concerned, market observer says

Hong Kong’s street shop landscape has transformed dramatically following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, reflecting the changing fortunes of investors and industries amid the unprecedented dislocation it has caused.

Some investors, including property industry heavyweights, are buying shops at low prices while others are selling them, partly because some businesses are struggling. According to the Land Registry, shop transactions rose for a third month in April, adding 18 per cent over March to 186 , and marking a 56-month high.

“Many of those active before the coronavirus outbreak are [now] selling shops. Very often, those who sell shops are in industries affected [by the pandemic]”, said Edwin Lee, founder and chief executive of Bridgeway Prime Shop Fund Management.

The buying and selling of shops reflects the changing fortunes of industries, with banks, cosmetic chains, bakery chains and investors related to The Center acquisition selling shops since the coronavirus pandemic started, Lee said. For instance, banks were selling shops because of virtual banks – they do not need so many branches now, he said.

Many of those who are buying now are those who had stayed silent in the market for a long time and wanted to “buy low”, Lee said. There are also new investors who are exploring alternative property investments, or shops for their own use.

“The worst time for the shop market has passed,” Lee said, adding that the prospect of travel bubbles, consumption vouchers and the government’s plan to buy shops had led to a feeling of optimism. Transaction volumes will surge by one to 1.5 times this year from about 1,000 deals last year, Lee said. Shop prices in residential districts will appreciate by 20 per cent to 30 per cent, while those in core districts will rise 10 per cent to 15 per cent, he predicted.

E-commerce, particularly during the pandemic, had also triggered a change of fortunes. Every consumption market sees changes, property agent said. “This time, the difference is big,” the agent said. “This does not [diminish] the importance of shops. Shops will be [used] for new industries.”

The agent has spent about HK$168 million (US$21.7 million) on three shops since February. These include a shop in Percival House, across Times Square in Causeway Bay, which cost him HK$66.8 million.

“We think the shop market has bottomed out. So we started to enter the market for investments. It starts with prime [properties]. Shops in core districts are particularly valuable – it was not easy to buy one in the past 10 years,” the agent said. “In the last two years, there has been social unrest and the coronavirus outbreak. So the market was very unusually battered, time after time.”

Founder of an agency group said his charity foundation bought a shop for recurrent income recently. The 1,400 sq ft property at Lee Hing Building in Mong Kok cost about HK$47 million.

“The timing was about right, as rents had fallen quite a lot. [But] the pandemic is about to fade -investors need to take a step early [and] consider the prospects,” the agent said. The agent also attributed the “difficult” business of shops to a wave targeting and scaring away mainland Chinese consumers during the city’s anti-government protests.

But Beijing will, in the long term, encourage people to visit and shop in Hong Kong as “China and the US are struggling” and “Beijing wants to prove that, even under US sanctions, Hong Kong has room for development”, the agent said.

Some investors, however, are looking to shrink their portfolios. The family of “shop king” Tang Shing-bor, who died recently, has set its asking prices for 39 properties worth about HK$4.15 billion that it is putting up for sale, according to a list recently circulated by agents and confirmed by the Stan Group, Tang’s company.

The most valuable property on the list is the 14-storey Woon Yin Building in Wan Chai, which has been priced at HK$390 million. It was listed by property agency in September last year at an indicative price of HK$400 million.

“The group will continue to sell noncore projects in response to market opportunities, as well as actively look for local potential investment projects to optimise its investment portfolio,” Stan Group’s spokeswoman said.

(South China Morning Post)

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