January 27th, 2010Hong Kong Store Rents May Climb on Influx of Chinese Shoppers
Jan. 26 — Hong Kong store rents may rise by as much as 10 percent this year as retailers benefit from an influx of shoppers from mainland China, Savills Plc said.
Rents in malls with the best locations, such as Times Square in Causeway Bay and IFC Mall in Central, may increase by 5 percent to 10 percent this year, while those at street level, including Canton Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, may climb 10 percent, Simon Smith, Hong Kong-based senior director of research at the property broker, said in a phone interview.
“Retail rents are supported mostly by mainland tourists who come to Hong Kong,” Smith said yesterday. “The long-haul visitors who fell away last year are starting to come back.”
A recovery in Hong Kong’s economy, a drop in the jobless rate and an increase in tourism boosted retail sales, helping landlords increase rents. Hong Kong’s retail sales rose 11.7 percent in November from a year earlier, the most in 16 months, government figures showed.
The number of visitors from mainland China rose 13.3 percent during that month, according to Tourism Board figures. Visitors taking long-haul flights from markets such as the Americas rose 2.4 percent, the first gain in three months.
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