Festive season respite for Hong Kong retail rents

The Christmas-New Year Festive season offered much needed respite for retail property owners.

The decline in Hong Kong retail rents fell markedly in the fourth quarter – to just 2 per cent, which is well below the 17 per cent fall year-on-year to date.

CBRE, in its quarterly real estate rental review, said there were also fewer lease surrenders than in preceding quarters.

Lease surrenders eased temporarily as retailers tend not to forego business at the peak time of consumption, CBRE said in its report.

Mid-range brands continued to be the growth engine in the leasing market, and a number of tier-1 street shops were leased to these retailers during the fourth quarter..

“Currency differences continued to drive tourists away from Hong Kong,” commented CBRE. “The full year is expected to record the first decline in visitor arrivals since the implementation of the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) in 2003.”

Total retail sales dropped 3.1 per cent year-on-year in the first 11 months of 2015.

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