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。
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%。
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。
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。
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
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.
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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