COMMERCIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Chinese banks buoy Central's office market in 2017

They accounted for half of 2017's new lettings.

PRC banks and financial services firms dominated the fight for prime office space in the sought-after Greater Central submarket as they accounted for 54% of new lettings transacted this year, according to a press release from Cushman & Wakefield.

"The banking and finance sector was the driving force behind the surge in Prime Central rents, so much so that they reached their six-year record high at HK$143.6 in Q4 2017 -- also a global record, according to our latest international survey,” said Cushman & Wakefield Managing Director John Siu.

Prominent PRC banking companies like HNA Group snapped 93,600 square feet of prime office space whilst Industrial Bank and CMB International secured 54,600 sqft and 29,200 sqft respectively.

Greater Central rents once again topped global levels and outpaced other districts with an annual increase of 7.5% in 2017. Siu adds that rental costs in the submarket are expected to grow all the more by 7-9% next year.

Cushman & Wakefield attributes the sustained rental due to strong leasing demand as availability rate shrank from 3.9% to 3.7% in Q3 – the lowest level among all submarkets. 

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