Hong Kong’s mid-market property segment abuzz with deal-making: CBRE

Hong Kong’s mid-market property segment abuzz with deal-making: CBRE

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Property consultancy CBRE is targeting the mid-range market in Hong Kong by creating a sub-brand called Value Properties that will address the needs of customers who seek properties outside prime markets.
The strategy is aimed at capturing a growing trend in the city’s property market, where tenants are increasingly opting for smaller spaces as Hong Kong’s economy battles sluggish demand amid elevated interest rates.

“We have seen a lot more smaller size deals, and the launch of Value Properties is to focus on this segment to expand our market share in the foreseeable future,” said Ada Fung, head of advisory and transaction services at CBRE Hong Kong. “While we have a net floor area of 88 million sq ft of grade A stock, there is another 48 million sq ft of non-grade A office stock.”

Earlier this month, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) left interest rates unchanged at 5.75 per cent, following the US Federal Reserve’s decision to keep its target rate in the range of 5.25 per cent to 5.5 per cent, which is the highest level in 23 years. The HKMA has followed US rate decisions in lockstep since 1983 when it pegged the local currency with the US dollar.

Ada Fung, executive director, head of advisory and transaction services, CBRE Hong Kong. Photo: Handout

In the last three years, 80 per cent of office leasing deals were for spaces less than 5,000 sq ft, according to CBRE research. No other rival property agencies with commercial divisions have a dedicated website or platform for this market segment, providing CBRE with an edge.

Value Properties will pave the way for CBRE to capture the demand for non grade A commercial property, initially focusing on office spaces but later on retail and industrial spaces as well, said Michael Wong, senior director at Value Properties.

“We are focusing more on the mid-size occupiers, we are talking about 3,000 to 5,000 sq ft for the office tenants, especially for SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises], newly set-up companies or even potential tenants who would like to come to Hong Kong from mainland China or from overseas,” Wong said.

CBRE is very keen to expand in this segment, and we see good business and revenue opportunities.”

The website valueproperties.com.hk will feature available office spaces that are categorised as non-premium segments.

“I think the beauty of having a platform online for occupiers is that they can search property online, anytime, anywhere,” he added. “They do not need to go to a traditional property agency in search of a property.”

The website also provides short video clips of properties for potential tenants to view before conducting a physical inspection, Wong said. The website will be boosted to appear among top results for commercial property searches.

Value Properties will hire more agents to boost its broker force to between eight and ten by the end of the year from three at the moment.

“There are various platforms in the market of different forms,” Ada Fung said. “We are leveraging our deep knowledge and expertise to develop this one to be the best of its kind as Value Properties is backed by CBRE. Even local SMEs and start-ups that are not leasing big office, retail or industrial properties like the larger corporations do, can access our market intelligence and service at Value Properties.”

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