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Property News Weekly Digest
〈The Standard, Feb 3, 2024〉Rents for Two International Finance Centre, one of the world's most expensive super Grade A buildings, in Central is still 14 percent lower than three years ago.

An example of that is reinsurance company China Re Asset Management's move into units two to five on the 41st floor.

It is reportedly paying a monthly rent of HK$1.01 million, or HK$150 per square foot, way down from the HK$175 that Funde Asset Management (Hong Kong) was previously shelling out for its three-year lease.

The move fits in with China Re's upgrading and expansion plan: the new office space is 6,740 sq ft, much more spacious than its old location's approximately 5,000 sq ft.

〈The Standard, Feb 2, 2024〉Hong Kong's major housing estates have seen deals from which vendors have emerged with profits to show for their investments amid an improved market atmosphere.

The improved sentiment stems from expectations that interest rate cuts are in the offing and the government will do away with the "spicy measures" that it is using to discourage speculators at a time when prices were skyrocketing.

Vendors in estates such as City One Shatin, Tung Chung Crescent, Taikoo Shing in Quarry Bay and Banyan Garden in Cheung Sha Wan saw gains on paper ranging from 49 percent to over double what they paid, according to information from property agents.

According to data from Centaline Property, a two-bedroom unit measuring 327 square feet in City One Shatin brought a paper gain of HK$2.87 million to the owner, who had held on to the place for 17 years.

〈Hong Kong Business, Feb 1, 2024〉The provisionally estimated retail sales rose by 7.8% year-on-year in December 20203 to reach $36.3b, with total retail sales volume increasing by 4.8% after netting out the effects of price changes, data from the Census and Statistics Department showed.

Online retail sales declined by 29.7% YoY to $2.8b, accounting for 7.8% of the total retail sales.

Per sector, in descending order of estimated sales value, jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts saw a 50.1% growth, followed by the sales of consumer goods not elsewhere classified (23% increase), wearing apparel (19.3%), commodities in department stores (4.6%), medicines and cosmetics (+32.7%), and motor vehicles and parts (3.5%).

〈Asian Post, Jan 31, 2024〉The Lands Department announced that subsidised sales flats at Eminence Terrace I, under one of the first two Dedicated Rehousing Estates (DREs) projects constructed by the Housing Society, will be up for sale.

The sale will begin on 15 February and end on 16 March.

Starting 31 January, the Housing Society and the Lands Department will issue letters containing application details to eligible households.

DREs are a designated rehousing option for households affected by government development clearance. Eligible households may choose to be rehoused to subsidised sale flats or subsidised rental flats of DREs without going through a means test.

〈CNN Business, Jan 31, 2024〉Despite recent attempts by Beijing to shore up confidence in the economy and stem a protracted stock market slump that has wiped out$6 trillion in value in three years, investors are still rushing for the exit.

The Shanghai Composite index fell 6.2%, its biggest weekly loss since October 2018, while the Shenzhen Component index shed 8.1%, its largest drop in three years. The indexes have lost more than 8% and 15% respectively since the start of the year.

China’s blue-chip CSI 300 index, comprising 300 major stocks listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen, also fell 4.6%, notching its worst week since October 2022. The index is down 7% year-to-date.