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Office rents set to slide in Singapore, Hong Kong

Alex Frew McMillan Reuters 12/08/2011 21:26
Office rents set to slide in Singapore, Hong Kong - Real Estate - Property - Hong Kong - Business - Singapore

Office rents in Hong Kong and Singapore are set to fall, brokers say, as the cities' markets start to reflect the slowdown in trade and investment caused by the euro zone debt crisis.

In a mid-quarter review released on Wednesday, Jones Lang LaSalle Inc forecast Grade A rents in Hong Kong to fall 5-6 percent in the fourth quarter to $1,643 per square meter per year, and 4 percent in Singapore to $786 per square meter per year.

"Those are the cities that represent the most open Asian markets, so they are the first to represent the woes of what's happening elsewhere in the world," said Jeremy Sheldon, head of markets for Asia-Pacific. "Everyone is being very cautious about what happens next."

It would mark a fall into the red for Singapore rents, which rose 0.6 percent in the third quarter, according to the brokerage, and the intensification of a decline in Hong Kong, where rents fell 0.9 percent in the third quarter.