Hong Kong Property Research Reports Q2 2018
An active market overall, with a few looming issues on the horizon
Following a strong start in Q1 2018, the property market in Q2 has kept up a strong and positive pace. However, uncertainties such as the US/China trade disputes, rising interest rates and a tightening liquidity could lead the property market to face several pressures and cause it to slow down.
Leasing activities stayed strong throughout Q2. This was led by financial companies from PRC in Central, and company relocations as well as the aggressive expansion of co-working operators in the decentralised districts. We saw an increase in rents and a decline in vacancy rates. As we move forward into H2, we expect rents to continue increasing and a greater focus on districts outside the core business areas.
The government has implemented a new set of initiatives to target the housing shortage and to help local buyers get on the property ladder, however, the impact might be limited. For the H1 2018, prices increased by 10.6%, looking ahead we expect prices to continue to rise amid at a slower pace for H2 2018.
Both brands and developers are increasingly investing in new designs, concepts and technologies to capture the huge potential of the millennial spending power. Retail sales growth continued in the double-digits, spurring several expansions across different sectors and continued demand for prime locations - high-street retail rental growth has returned to positive territory.
After a strong Q2 the market could begin to decelerate because of a softening business sentiment and the US/China trade war. The past three months was driven by forced relocations and expansions, moving forward the market should focus on new technologies such as AI and robotics to improve efficiency and costs.