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Property News Weekly Digest
〈The Standard, Dec 2, 2023〉A mega shop at Star House in Tsim Sha Tsui has been leased by a Japanese-style department store at HK$1 million per month, or HK$235 per square foot, after being empty for over two years - a 44 percent drop from the pre-pandemic level.

With an area of 4,260 sq ft, shops 1 & 2 on the ground floor of Star House are located close to the Tsim Sha Tsui ferry pier, facing Salisbury Road, a popular tourist attraction.

The previous tenant was local personal care chain Watsons, which moved out in 2021 amid the Covid-pandemic after renting the place for nearly 23 years.

Watsons had paid as much as HK$2 million for monthly rent at the peak time tumbling 50 percent compared to the peak price.

〈Asian Post, Nov 30, 2023〉In the pursuit of maintaining its status as a global maritime hub, Hong Kong stands at a crucial crossroads this year, recognising the need for more than just a profit tax regime to lure in more shipping companies.

Experts, such as Dr. Eugene Wong from The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong, point out that more work has to be done for companies to set up headquarters in the city and for more vessels to fly its flag.

Hong Kong Business interviewed Wong, associate head and associate professor at the university’s Department of Supply Chain and Information Management, on the sidelines of the recent Asian Logistics, Maritime and Aviation Conference 2023 held during the Hong Kong Maritime Week.

〈Hong Kong Business, Nov 29, 2023〉The total retail sales value hit $33.8b in October, an increase of 5.6% from the same month in 2022.

Of the total sales value, 11% or $3.7b was from online sales. Compared with a year ago, the online retail sales value rose 8.4%.

Amongst retail outlets, "apparel" recorded the biggest improvement, with sales increasing 29.9% YoY.

In the same month, the value of sales of "jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts" and "other consumer goods not elsewhere classified" increased by 27.4% YoY and 24.8% YoY, respectively.

Other retail outlets which recorded sales value increase were food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (+1.3%); commodities in department stores (+1%); medicines and cosmetics (+23.5%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (+1.8%); and footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (+2.5%).

〈The Standard, Nov 28, 2023〉Housing Rosanna Law Shuk-pui in appreciation of the progress she has made in cracking down on public housing abuse in the space of several months since she gave up her transport duties to take up her new role as the city's housing chief in August.

Hopefully, the success achieved by the crackdown on public housing cheats is only the beginning.

In the first phase of the clampdown, 88,000 households were asked to return a questionnaire on their property ownership.

After thousands of them were checked, Housing Department officials are now focusing their probe on 55 cases which involve tenants or some household members who were found to own private housing.

〈Hong Kong Business, Nov 28, 2023〉The overall vacancy rate of Grade A offices dropped to 12.6% in October, data from JLL showed.

Amongst the major office districts, Kowloon recorded the most significant improvement, with the vacancy rate dropping to 19.1%.

Tsimshaitsui also recorded a drop in vacancy rate, falling further by 0.4 percentage points, the most significant among the business districts.

Meanwhile, office rent retreated by 0.5% MoM in October. Central and Wanchai/Causeway Bay witnessed rental drops of 0.2% and 1.0%, respectively. Tsimshatsui's rent remained firm.