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Real Estate Situation

Agency closing branches hurts the shop market


Damon Ho

3rd December 2022

Stepping into December, Hang Seng index has been rising and the market sentiment is also improving. In property market, shop owners suffered the loss which was much more than the residential proprietor. Until recently, one leading property agency firm declared to cut their branches massively. As a result, it will give a hard hit to the retail & grocery store market which the general investor perceives that is a sound investment.

Residential and retail & grocery store market are positive corelated each other. The market welcomes the reduced-price premises, and the purchasing power is strong. Retail & grocery store market is as the same of residential market. The lowered price of this premises is also having a strong demand from the investors and tenants. Unfortunately, the downturn of the residential market starts to have negative effective to the property agency firm. In consequence, the property agency firms confront a massive loss due the diminished amount of the transaction.

According to the current situation, the amount of transaction will not rise significantly again even the price has fallen to the trench. It is pity to the property industry because they depend on the commission which it derives from the transaction volume. Facing to the reality, this industry must cut half of their branches for self-help in brief period. This industry has rent hundreds of shops in the less prestigious arcade in residential districts. Finally, their branches’ relocation will cause an intense pressure to the overall retail & grocery store market.

One principal property agency firm has declared that they prefer not to review the leasing contracts upon expiry. Unless the property owner cut the new contract’s rental by thirty cent or more. The market observers estimate that the whole industry will cut three or four hundred shops in the coming year. In general, this industry has rent forty cent or more of the leasing shops in tier two or three shopping center. Finally, it will trigger higher vacancy rate which will push down the purchasing price and the leasing rental.

The prime shop market confronted the first strike when mainland closed the border crossing two years ago. Nowadays, the retail & grocery store market also cannot avoid consistent punching from the economic downturn. The higher vacancy rate pushes down the purchasing price and rental. In the coming year, the market performance may get even worse than this year.

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1. 油價限定上限每桶60元 2022-12-03 14:11:41

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the cap -- which was officially approved by Western allies on Fidarybcahme after months of hard work.

The cap stops countries paying more than $60 (£48) a barrel for seaborne exports of Russian crude oil.

It is due to come into effect on 5 December or soon after.

Low and medium-income countries that have been heavily impacted by high energy and food prices will particularly benefit from the cap, Ms Yellen said.

2. Hong Kongers trust big tech 2022-12-03 20:46:01

A total of 86% of Hong Kong consumers say they trust “Big Tech” to fulfil banking services as much as or more than banks, a survey found. 

The Capco Bank of the Future Survey also found that 56% said they trust “Big Tech” more. 

“Hong Kong’s banks need a forward-thinking and compelling strategy around an array of digital channels and deliverables, including apps, highly personalized products, AI-driven advisory and even emerging metaverses,” Paul Sommerin, Partner and APAC Head of Digital & Technology, said.

3. Shenzhen relaxed covid 19 measures 2022-12-03 22:17:38
Shenzhen on Saturday relaxed Covid-19 measures in the bustling city, dropping a previous requirement for people using public transport to first produce proof of a negative PCR test.

The city's transport bureau announced that effective immediately, passengers only need to have their health codes checked and scan a QR code before entering specified places, including public transport such as subways and taxis.
4. Cathay stepped into retail service 2022-12-04 11:55:26

To introduce an elevated shopping experience,Cathay opened its "online to offline to offline" retail space at Cityplaza shopping mall.

Located at the second floor, Cathay's retail space will offer branded merchandise from special edition co-branded Cathay x Start From Zero upcycled gallery container to Christmas-themed products.

What makes the shop interesting is it offers a new way of retail by using the online app, choosing alternative modes of payments and delivery, and earn promos for their next trip.

5. SYB 2022-12-04 23:11:32
6. Residential market sluggish in Oct 2022-12-05 11:32:33

Hong Kong’s residential market was sluggish in October due to continued increases in interest rates, a weakening local economy, and unstable stock market, according to Knight Frank.

In a report, Knight Frank said residential sales in October were down 18.8% month-on-month (MoM), with primary sales declining by 53.2% MoM to 672 homes, citing data from the Land Registry.

“Potential buyers were hesitant to enter the property market, leading to poor performance in both transaction volume and prices,” the report read.

7. Consumption vouchers might be considered 2022-12-05 22:14:44

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po is still open to including a new round of consumption vouchers in the coming year's budget proposal.

At a briefing to the Legislative Council Panel on Financial Affairs this morning, Chan pointed out that Hong Kong's financial situation will face an unexpected deficit of HK$100 billion due to the unfavourable economic environment and the limitation of public resources.

When asked by lawmakers whether he will fulfil public expectations regarding consumption vouchers in the upcoming financial budgets while there is a significant decrease in the government's income, Chan said he would monitor the situation and make sure to hear all the aspects' opinions.

He further states that the release of consumption vouchers did make a positive difference to the economy, but due to the large amount of public funds involved, he would remain vigilant of market developments to decide whether to release a new round.

8. China developers sales slump by 70% 2022-12-06 12:01:21

Chinese developers Sunac China (1918) and Agile Group Holdings (3383) saw their contracted sales slump by more than 70 percent last month.

Sunac China's contracted sales plunged by 78 percent to 8.04 billion yuan (HK$8.98 billion) last month compared to a year ago, with the contracted sales area dropping by the same figure to 605,000 square meters, with an average selling price of about 13,290 yuan per square meter.

As of end-November, the group had contracted sales of approximately 161.1 billion yuan with a contracted sales area of about 12.18 million sq m.

Meanwhile, Agile said aggregated presales in November tumbled by 70 percent year-on-year to 3.6 billion yuan, with the corresponding gross floor area dropping by the same figure to 295,000 sq m. Its average selling price was 12,219 yuan per sq m.

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Hang Seng Bank (0011) is offering an interest rate of 5 percent for a six-month deposit of Hong Kong dollars to selected clients to attract cash, the highest among local lenders.

New deposit or renewal of a maturing fixed deposit over HK$10,000 can earn the offered interest rate before December 31, for customers who have received the bank's promotion materials, said the bank.

The latest offer surpassed Dah Sing Bank's 4.95 percent and became the highest rate offered in Hong Kong for a six-month time deposit of the local currency. For a fixed deposit of HK$100,000, an interest of HK$2,500 can be earned.

10. Hong Kong industries need government help 2022-12-07 11:33:19

Singapore's economy could surpass Hong Kong's over the next three decades amid government support for local industries, a top Chinese economist has warned.

As a free economy, Hong Kong's per capita gross domestic product was 70 percent higher than Singapore's in the 1980s, but is now 30 percent lower, Justin Lin Yifu, a former World Bank economist and current director of the Institute of New Structural Economics at Peking University told a think tank forum.

He attributed to this change to the support extended by Singapore's government to local industries.

Lin pointed out that Singapore's industrial structure was similar to Hong Kong's between the fifties and seventies, when Hong Kong was not only a financial center but also a large manufacturing hub.

11. Government striving for more talents 2022-12-08 16:40:18

The government has escalated its efforts to attract more talent from the Mainland and overseas.

Apart from streamlining the admission scheme for Mainland talents and professionals, the government also extended the immigration arrangements for non-local graduates to graduates from campuses of Hong Kong universities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

Through the soon-to-be-established Talents Service Unit, the government will formulate new strategies to recruit talent from the Mainland and overseas.

On the other hand, the government’s Mainland and overseas economic and trade offices will set up dedicated teams to attract businesses and talent.

12. Hong Kong named second most expensive location 2022-12-09 12:36:45

Hong Kong is no-longer the world’s most expensive location in the world thanks to weakening demand in its housing market, according to the latest cost of living study by ECA International.

Hong Kong has been named the second most expensive location in the world, with New York City claiming the top spot as rents in the US city soared.

“Like many places in the world, prices of day to day goods and services rose in Hong Kong at a rate well above those we have seen in recent years, and above the average rate of growth elsewhere in the Asia region,” said Lee Quane, Regional Director – Asia at ECA International.

“However, demand for rental accommodation has weakened on account of Hong Kong’s ongoing sub-par economic performance, causing rents to fall and contributing to Hong Kong’s fall of one place in our ranking,” Quane noted.