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Property News Weekly Digest
〈The Standard, Nov 26, 2022〉A duplex in Central was leased recently to a restaurateur for HK$90,000 a month, 31 percent or HK$42,000 lower than the previous rent fetched and a fall to the rental level of 13 years ago.

The duplex is made up of shop 1 on the ground floor and shop 101 on the first floor of Welley Building at 97 Wellington Street, Central, and offers a gross floor area of about 1,050 sq ft and translates on a per-square-foot basis to about HK$85.

The landlord started offering the shop for lease in August and was asking for HK$120,000 until early last month, when the price was cut to HK$90,000, which immediately attracted many prospective tenants.

An entrepreneur with plans for a Chinese-style restaurant rented the shop because it had good fittings and offered a restaurant and liquor license, helping to save time and substantial renovation costs.

〈Hong Kong Business, Nov 25, 2022〉The number of businesses operating in Hong Kong but with parent companies located outside the city has reached 8,978 in 2022, data from Invest Hong Kong and the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) showed.

Of the total, 1,411 are operating as regional headquarters (RHQs), 2,397 as regional offices (ROs) and 5,170 as local offices (LOs).

The parent companies of businesses operating in the city are mostly from the Mainland (2,114), Japan (1,388), the United States (1,258), the United Kingdom (655) and Singapore (463).

In terms of sector, most of the companies belong to import/export trade, wholesale and retail (4,170), financing and banking (1,683), and professional, business and education services (1,308).

〈Hong Kong Business, Nov 24, 2022〉The global political conflicts and closure of borders impacted Hong Kong’s top spot in the priciest retail destination. According to Cushman and Wakefield’s 2022 report, Hong Kong has now edged down to second place.

The Upper Fifth Avenue located in New York ranked first in the most expensive retail destination report, with $15,622 (US$ 2,000) per square foot (sq ft). In 2019, the US was at the second spot globally.

Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui has $11,216 (US$1,436) per sq ft. The market was in first place before the pandemic hit.

Followed by Hong Kong in the most expensive retail destination is Italy’s Via Montenapoleone with $10,779 (US$1,380) rent per sq ft. London’s New Bond Street and The Avenues des Champs Elysees in Paris placed fourth and fifth, respectively.

〈Asian Post, Nov 23, 2022〉Hong Kong’s hotel industry is expected to recover at a slow pace before the market fully reopens its border to Chinese mainland visitors, according to Knight Frank.

In a report, Knight Frank said that Hong Kong’s overall tourism industry is expected to remain weak in the short term, even with the lifting of the hotel quarantine policy, as other Asian destinations that do not have quarantine rules for visitors will be more attractive.

“Despite the gradual reopening of the border and the relaxation of hotel quarantine rules to ‘0+3,’ the outlook for hotel performance remains of concern,” the report read.

Knight Frank said the Hong Kong dollars link to strong US dollars also makes the city a less attractive tourist destination, whilst more Hong Kong people leave for overseas holidays due to high-value currency, resulting in lower domestic demand.

〈Asian Post, Nov 22, 2022〉Hotels in Hong Kong have improved their performance due to the influx of tourists in the market after the fifth wave of the pandemic came under control in May 2022.

In a report, Knight Frank said overnight visitor arrivals in Hong Kong reached over 175,000 for the first eight months of 2022, increasing by 234% year-on-year (YoY). In August alone, overnight visitors surged 529% year-to-date.

This is compared to 89,190 international overnight visitors in 2021, down by 93.4% YoY, and the Chinese mainland arrivals which declined by 92.7% YoY to over 64,000.