Hong Kong Retail Expectations Turn Positive for the First Time Since 2013

Hong Kong retail expectations turn positive for first time since 2013, said Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) recently.

The Occupier Sentiment Index (OSI) increased modestly to 14 in Q1 from 10 in Q4 2017. The Investment Sentiment Index (ISI) increased six points from the previous quarter, to 19, according to the RICS Hong Kong Commercial Property Monitor Q1 2018.

Demand for retail space was unchanged from Q4, marking the first time since 2013 that demand for retail space has not declined, RICS said.

In addition, demand for office and industrial space continued to increase in both the occupier and investment markets while the supply of office and retail properties available to rent increased at a modest pace in Q1, the professional body noted, adding that respondents reported an increase in landlord incentives on retail space.

"Occupier demand continued to rise in Q1 2018 at a headline level," said Frank Wong MRICS, RICS Hong Kong External Affairs and Public Concerns Committee Member. "Demand for office space remained robust, while respondents continued to report an expansion in demand of industrial space, albeit at a more modest pace.

Headline foreign inquiries were modestly higher from the fourth quarter, though this was largely driven by the office segment as a small increase in inquiries for industrial properties was offset by a minor decrease in foreign demand for retail properties, he observed.