Chinese investment in Hong Kong property to carry on rising - CBRE

HONG KONG, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Investment by mainland Chinese in Hong Kong’s property market will keep rising through next year, real estate consultancy CBRE said on Wednesday, noting that investors’ interest had moved beyond office towers in prime locations to non-core districts.

According to CBRE data, which tracks property transactions valued above $10 million, half of the HK$4.4 billion ($567.75 million) deals completed in the third quarter were purchased by mainland investors.

“There were many enquiries from Chinese investors in the third quarter, they’re looking to invest long term,” Reeves Yan, CBRE Capital Markets executive director, told a press briefing.

Even though the total volume of deals in the third quarter was the lowest since the first quarter of 2009, the recovery in demand from mainland investors was the saving grace.

They had been largely absent during the first half of the year, initially deterred by last year’s anti-government protests and then later by the COVID-19 outbreak.

For the first nine months total sales volume stood at HK$18 billion - just 25% of total notched for all of 2019.

Another consultancy firm Cushman & Wakefield said on Tuesday overall office rent in the financial hub, one of the world’s most expensive cities, dropped for a sixth consecutive quarter in the three months through September, down 4.7% from the previous three-month and 13.9% so far this year.

It expected rents in core-locations to drop as much as 25% for the full year.

Total office space surrendered reached 626,000 square feet during the period, with 70% of the surrenders from multinational corporations across different industries. Office availability climbed to 11.6%, the highest level since 2005. ($1 = 7.7499 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)