Singapore office rents may overtake Hong Kong

Tourists in front of Singapore's econic Merlion with the business district in the backround, (Filepic)

SINGAPORE: Singapore office rents may overtake those of Hong Kong for the first time since 2009, a sign that the South-East Asian city-state is gaining an edge over its rival financial hub.

Average office spot rents in Singapore could rise 5% to 10% in 2022 on the back of a limited new supply, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence report.

Hong Kong’s prime office vacancy rate may exceed 12% by the end of next year following a supply boom in decentralised districts, analysts Patrick Wong and Kristy Hung wrote.

The contrasting office market outlook reflects the impact of different pandemic management strategies adopted by the cities.

While Singapore is cautiously reopening and work from home remains the default arrangement, it has stopped targeting zero Covid-19 cases and begun easing border controls.

Hong Kong remains closed off to the rest of the world and has strict quarantine rules due to its elimination strategy, which has garnered criticism from global companies. — Bloomberg

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