Grade A office rents in capital 16th highest in Asia-Pacific region

Rental prices for Grade A offices in Taipei were the 16th highest among major cities in the Asia-Pacific region, property market consulting firm REPro Knight Frank said Saturday.

Citing a research report, the consulting firm said that the average rent for a Grade A office in Taipei hit about NT$2,600 (US$79.75) per ping (3.3 square meters) a month in the January-March period, lagging behind many other cities in the region, such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and Seoul.

The monthly average investment return of Grade A offices in Taipei stood at only 2.5 percent in the first quarter, the 13th highest among the major cities in the global property market, REPro Knight Frank said.

Huang Shu-wei (???), an executive of REPro Knight Frank, said that the relatively low investment return of Taipei's Grade A offices demonstrated an excess supply in the market. In addition, with the local economy in a slowdown, enterprises have turned very cautious about their spending on office space rentals, Huang said. Such caution has led office rents in Taipei to grow at a low pace, he said.

Hong Kong ranked No. 1 in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of the monthly average Grade A office rental price in the first quarter, according to the report. In the three-month period, the monthly average Grade A office rent in Hong Kong stood at NT$20,571 per ping, up 1.1 percent from a quarter earlier and even up 11 percent from a year earlier, the advisory firm said, adding office rents in the city are expected to rise further.

On the back of the upcoming Olympics in 2020 and a relatively low vacancy rate, the monthly average rent for Grade A office space in Tokyo hit NT$9,880 per ping, the second highest in the Asia Pacific, in the first quarter. Tokyo's average Grade A space rent rose 3.4 percent from a quarter earlier and also up 9.1 percent from a year earlier.

The average rent for a Grade A office in Singapore stood at NT$7,545 per ping in the first quarter, the third highest in the Asia-Pacific region, the report showed.

In terms of investment returns, Bangalore, Mumbai and New Delhi in India posted gains of 10.5 percent, 10 percent and 9.5 percent, respectively, grabbing the No. 1 to No.3 places in the global Grade A office market, REPro Knight Frank said.

The advisory firm said that the three Indian cities have benefited from India Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Make in India" initiative, which has attracted many foreign investors to invest in the country, boosting rents of the three cities' Grade A offices. The advisory firm added that the average rent for a high-end office in Bangalore could rise 15.8 percent by 2018.

Right after the three Indian cities, the average investment return of Grade A offices in Beijing and Shanghai stood at 6.3 percent in the first quarter, REPro Knight Frank said.

Source: China Post