HK’s high street rents most expensive in Asia Pacific: JLL

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JLLStrong demand for quality retail space, coupled with limited supply, has supported high street rents in prime Asia Pacific markets over the third quarter of the year according to inaugural quarterly Retail Index of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

The index, which tracks the rental performance of prime retail space across key markets in Asia Pacific, highlights a stark divergence between the region’s top performer, Hong Kong, and the other monitored markets, showcasing the unique characteristics of this highly sought after market.

Tom Gaffney, head of retail for Jones Lang LaSalle in Hong Kong, commented, “Over the past three years, retail sales in Hong Kong have grown by an average of around 15 per cent per year which, when compared to the equivalent in European and US markets, has presented retailers with a promising growth opportunity and an ideal entry point for expansion into Asia.”

“This tremendous growth in sales and rentals over the past three years is largely due to a high demand from retailers, who are looking to establish a presence or expand their existing footprint in the City, coupled with limited supply – an imbalance on which landlords have capitalised. Given the extent of demand, double digit growth in sales, and limited opportunities, it is little wonder that rents in the Hong Kong market outpace the rest of the region and we predict this trend will continue well into 2014.”

Looking ahead, Anuj Puri, JLL’s head of Retail Asia Pacific and chairman and country head, JLL comments, “As the economy in Asia Pacific continues to improve, retail is once again emerging as a preferred asset class for investors who see consumption as being closely aligned to the region’s growth. China will witness the strongest growth in the retail markets of its top 50 cities, as Hong Kong continues to leverage its proximity to the mainland to fuel its own retail boom. Meanwhile, India still awaits the new FDI regulations to kick-start investment in the market.”

“However we are also seeing more retailers expand into The Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, where the retail market is driven by a growing middle class and an increasingly young, generously salaried and highly aspirational population,” he said.