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Property News Weekly Digest
〈The Standard, June 19 ,2021〉Link Real Estate Investment Trust (0823) said 40 percent of its Hong Kong tenants are new and most newly signed leases are retail and food and beverage, with the trust maintaining a retail occupancy rate of 96.8 percent.

There were over 400 newly signed leases in its Hong Kong property portfolio during the year ended March, Link REIT chief executive George Hongchoy Kwok-lung said in an online news conference, while its mainland property portfolio saw over 200 new signed leases.

Hongchoy is optimistic about this year's rental performance.

Link doesn't have any plan for disposals and will seek high single-digit growth in total assets in its mid-term development. The firm is looking at overseas investment, such as in the mainland, Singapore, Japan, Australia and the UK, to diversify risks. However, it will not consider acquiring residential projects.

〈Shanghai Daily, June 18 ,2021〉Blackstone in SOHO China deal.Blackstone Group Inc will take control of SOHO China in a HK$23.7 billion (US$3.05 billion) deal and maintain its stock market listing, the Chinese office developer said in a filing on Wednesday, while the founders will retain a 9 percent stake.

The US private equity firm will offer HK$5 per share, 31.6 percent higher than the last closing price of HK$3.8 on Friday, in what would be its largest real estate deal in China. SOHO China’s shares jumped as much as 25.8 percent to HK$4.78 early yesterday, as they resumed trading after being suspended since Tuesday.

Blackstone, which currently owns around 6 million square meters of properties in China, is seeking to expand as it is confident about the country’s long-term economic prospects and the Beijing and Shanghai office market, the filing said.

SOHO China, a major developer well known for its futuristic office buildings on the mainland, has 1.3 million square meters of commercial properties in the country.

〈Asian Post, June 17 ,2021〉Allowances for 90,000 low-income families on waiting lists – but no rules to stop rents being raised.

At least 90,000 households who have waited years for public housing could begin to receive monthly cash allowances for the first time next month – but officials have admitted it would be difficult to prevent landlords from taking advantage and raising rents.

Some organisations have also expressed disappointment that the HK$8 billion pilot scheme excludes single public housing applicants under the age of 60.

The relief, which was one of 10 initiatives announced by Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor in January 2020 aimed at improving livelihood issues for low-income families, is also not applicable for those who are living in public housing or receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance, the government subsidies that provide a safety net.

〈The Standard, June 16 ,2021〉At least 338,000 vaccinated permanent residents have signed up online or in person for the Sino Group and Chinese Estate Holdings lottery within eight hours of its launch in the hopes of winning a HK$10.8 million flat in Kwun Tong.

That would mean 19.2 percent of 1.76 million vaccinated Hongkongers had signed up by 5pm yesterday to try their luck.

The lottery's top prize is a 449-square-foot, one-bedroom flat at 47D Tower 3, Phase 2, Grand Central, on Hip Wo Street. It is only for Hong Kong permanent residents.

Sponsors will also pay the stamp duty, registration and legal costs for the winner, as well as the first year of property management fees.

The lottery offers 20 other prizes- prepaid cards or credit cards of HK$100,000 each. All Hong Kong ID card holders of age - including those with employment visas such as domestic helpers - are eligible.

〈Asian Post, June 15 ,2021〉Landlord wants to offer future tenants an option to traditional leases as market picks up again

Hongkong Land, the biggest commercial landlord in Central, has opened a co-working space at one of the world’s most expensive office addresses, in a reversal of its reticence to develop flexible space.

The developer’s Centricity Flex, featuring 25,000 sq ft opens today on the 17th and 18th floor of the Landmark Edinburgh Tower on Queen’s Road Central.

Other tenants in the tower include the audit firm PwC, the Swiss private bank Bank J. Safra Sarasin and the legal practices K&L Gates and Skadden Arps.