State of the real estate: How the property market performed in October
Knight Frank cited trends that affected the performance of the market.
The property sector showed mixed performance for the month of October, recording growth and declines across different markets.
Here’s how every market performed for the month and the trends that affected their respective performance, according to Knight Frank:
The retail market continued gradual recovery for the month, registering a 7.3% year-on-year (YoY) growth in total sales value to $28b in September.
The value of retail sales for the first nine months of 2021, meanwhile, also increased by 8.0% YoY to $258b.
The food and beverage (F&B) sector, in particular, saw a significant recovery amongst sectors in the retail market, with the value of total receipts soaring by 43.8% YoY to $24.5b in the third quarter of 2021.
This was driven by an upsurge of F&B operators adopting a take-away business model, Knight Frank said.
“This trend also reflects a gradual change in consumer habits of tending to use food delivery services or buy takeaway orders after almost two years of the pandemic,” the analyst added.
In the future, Knight Frank said the F&B sector will continue to outperform in the retail market.
Unlike retail, the residential market saw declines in October, with transactions dropping by 20.6% month-on-month (MoM) and 6.2% YoY to 4,643.
Knight Frank attributed the weak performance of the market to the “sharp correction in the local stock market in the third quarter, and uncertainty about the Chinese Mainland economy.”
Purchasing momentum, however, persisted in October, with sales of eight units at The Arles $100m, and two units in Wheelock’s Mount Nicholson at The Peak for $1.2b, amongst others.
A 4,544 square feet (sq ft) unit on The Peak was also sold for a record-breaking $640m to $140,845 per sq ft, according to Knight Frank.
The analyst also saw optimism amongst developers on the luxury residential market in HK with the acquisition of an upscale residential site at No. 79 Broadcast Drive in Kowloon Tong for $1.61b by Lai Sun Development.
“Leasing activity was still dominated by local moves. The rental level was supported by the improving local economy and employment market,” Knight Frank said.
Given the firm demand in the market, the analyst expects transaction volumes to reach a nine-year high in 2021, and housing prices to increase by 2% to 3% in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Hong Kong’s office market, like residential, had a fair share of increases and creases for the month.
In Central, rental rates increased 4.2% quarter-on-quarter to $113.6 per sq ft, driven by the recentralisation trend.
Knight Frank said co-working operators are grabbing the opportunity to expand at reduced rents like Swiss-based IWG which rented two floors in Tower 535 in Causeway Bay.
Leasing activities in Kowloon, on the other hand, have slowed down, dropping 20% MoM.
The analyst said the drop can be attributed to tenants taking a “wait-and-see” approach towards their long-term real estate plans, opting for “lease renewals rather than relocation.”
Japanese logistics company Nippon Express, for example, renewed its lease in Chinachem Golden Plaza, while multinational music corporation Universal Music stayed in Millennium City.
By year-end, Knight Frank said it still expects leasing activity and rents in the area to decline 4% on average.