Chinese businesses drive up Hong Kong rents, making office space most expensive globally

Rent prices for office space in Hong Kong have reached a global high, according to a report from JLL property consultants.

The survey, Premium Office Rent Tracker, looks at the highest achievable prices in offices exceeding 10,000 sq ft in 54 major markets across 46 cities.

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The survey found that 48% of new office space offered in Hong Kong in the first nine months of the year were taken up by firms from mainland China, and stated this has driven prices up.

Hong Kong’s pricing topped the list at $323/ sq ft/ annum, significantly higher than the second two areas, New York (Midtown) at $194 and London (West End) at $193.

JLL’s Hong Kong market director Kenny Yu stated that: “Hong Kong’s high premium office rents are driven by ongoing supply shortages and high demand from firms from mainland China. Mainland firms have slowed down acquisitions amid Beijing’s capital control. But they continue to expand businesses in Hong Kong and Asia under the central government’s One Belt One Road initiative.”

Head of Hong Kong market at JLL, Alex Barnes, added: “Mainland companies are expected to remain active in Central’s office leasing market next year… we expect Central’s Grade A office rents to grow by up to 5% in 2018.”

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