另外，2018年由「重慶李嘉誠」張松橋及資本策略 (00497) 等以約80億元向南豐購入臨澤街8號啟匯，前稱傲騰廣場，雖然樓齡只有大約10年，不過發展商在今年6月向屋宇署申請建築圖則，涉及67.98萬平方呎樓面。而鄰近的的嘉里危險品倉，早年曾經獲批重建成住宅發展，興建216個豪宅單位，不過嘉里在去年底就向城規會申請地積比率由9.5倍放寬至11.4倍，擬建26層高商廈，總樓面約52.7萬平方呎。
永泰 (00369) 旗下常悅道13號瑞興中心，在去年提出重建成34層高商廈，但由於商廈高度太高，所以遭城規會拒絕，近日發展商再闖關申請重建一幢30層高的商廈(包括4層地庫)，提供約26.3萬平方呎樓面。
樓市氣氛稍為好轉，市場頻錄名人沽貨，德永佳 (00321) 前執行副主席潘機澤，以1.77億沽出九龍塘喇沙利道28號洋房；另外卓悅 (00653) 前大股東葉俊亨亦以1,800萬沽出何文田豪宅。
據土地註冊處資料顯示，上環樂古道全幢商住樓，於上月12日以5900萬成交，買家以公司名義志龍有限公司(CREATIVE DRAGON LIMITED)，註冊董事為黃耀榮。原業主於1966年8月以5.77萬購入，故持貨54年帳面獲利5894.2萬，物業期間升值約1022倍。
Shouson Hill tender results pushed back
The United States government will disclose the tender results for its residential property at Shouson Hill on September 9 due to lower than expected bidding prices, local media reports.
The US government previously said the result will be disclosed on or before August 30.
Last week, CK Asset (1113) denied a claim it secured the six low-rise blocks after a tender closed on July 31.
Washington had held the six blocks at 37 Shouson Hill Road in Southern District since 1948 and recent estimates have put the value at HK$3.2 billion to HK$7.1 billion.
The six blocks have a gross floor area of 47,382 square feet, and can be demolished and rebuilt with a gross floor area of up to 71,097 sq ft.
The property flurry came after the United States stripped Hong Kong of its special trade privileges in response to the National People's Congress imposing national security legislation on the SAR.
A price comparison shows that in July 2018 China Resources Land (1109) bought a 92,087-sq-ft site at 39 Shouson Hill Road for HK$5.9 billion, or about HK$85,847 per sq ft, from the family of Shouson Chow, one of Hong Kong's earliest tycoons.
But the Covid-19 pandemic has dealt a huge blow to the luxury property market, with more loss-making transactions recorded of late.
In other news, CK Asset sold 20 flats at Sea to Sky in Lohas Park in August.
Owners suffer steep losses in home sales
Homeowners are dumping their properties at hefty losses amid the ongoing pandemic and bleak economic outlook.
The secondary market recorded at least 36 loss-making sales in August, according to local media reports, and some property agents left the lucrative industry last month.
One vendor suffered a loss of HK$8.41 million on paper after selling a 2,115 sq ft house at The Beverly Hills for HK$22.28 million, or HK$10,534 per sq ft.
In Wong Chuk Hang, a mainland vendor suffered a loss of HK$38 million on paper after selling a 3,408 sq ft house at Marinella for HK$100 million.
This came as private residential prices in Hong Kong dipped 0.5 percent month-on-month in July after climbing for two consecutive months, data from the Ratings and Valuation Department showed, as well as property agency forecast that home prices will drop about 5 percent this year.
In the commercial property market, another agency recorded only 43 transactions at 50 major Grade A office buildings in the first eight months, down by about 60 percent from the same period last year.
In August, the number of transactions at 50 major Grade A office buildings fell to four from five in July, although the Hong Kong Monetary Authority relaxed the loan-to-value ratio caps for mortgage loans on non-residential properties by 10 percentage points from 40 percent to 50 percent two weeks ago.
In Causeway Bay, a cake shop rented an 850 sq ft street shop at Lai Yuen Building for HK$120,000 per month, or HK$141 per sq ft, after HK$210,000, or 63.6 percent, was cut from the original asking rent, according to property agent.
Meanwhile, the number of licensed real estate agents in Hong Kong fell to 39,858 last month from 39,945 in July, ending the previous three consecutive monthly increases in the number, data from the Estate Agents Authority showed.
In the primary market, Sino Land (0083) will offer seven units at 133 Portofino in Clear Water Bay for sale by tender on Friday. Also in the area, Chinachem will offer seven luxury houses at Villa Cove for sale by tender on Friday.
Landlords of Hong Kong’s ‘Ginza-style’ commercial buildings slash rents and target non-restaurant tenants amid coronavirus downturn
Buildings housing restaurants, bars and shops on higher floors are struggling to retain tenants as previously unaffordable street-level rents tumble
Landlords are cutting rents to compete, and targeting a broader range of tenants, such as medical clinics and beauty salons
Landlords of Hong Kong’s “Ginza-style” commercial buildings are slashing rents by up to 40 per cent and shifting their focus away from restaurants and bars to survive the dramatic downturn in the catering and retail sectors caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
As rents of street-level shops and restaurants have tumbled, these projects – buildings typically packed with cafes, bars and small shops on higher floors – are struggling to retain tenants.
With no sign of a rebound in the food and beverage industry, some of them are now targeting a new tenant mix including such businesses as beauty parlours and medical clinics.
“If you enlist tenants without transforming, the [rent] offers will be very low because there are too many choices,” agent said. “Street shops have had their rents slashed, and social distancing rules have hit the catering industry very seriously. So the vacancy rates [in the Ginza buildings] are high.”
Named after one of Tokyo’s busiest shopping districts, the term Ginza is used by real-estate agents to refer to commercial properties shared by many different businesses under the same roof. The term was coined when sky-high rents for street-level shops forced stores in the city to move upwards, where space was more affordable.
Such commercial buildings are usually in relatively small single blocks. They sprouted across Hong Kong, especially in tourist districts like Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui, during a boom in tourism to satisfy demand in a city famous for its shortage of space.
Their landlords, particularly those in Causeway Bay, traditionally preferred to lease to restaurants as they could boost footfall and afford higher rents.
The new strategy is to market the premises to businesses in other sectors, rather than wait – potentially for a very long time – for a meaningful recovery in the food and beverage industry, agent said.
Buildings seeking to transform include Circle Property Development’s Circle Plaza and Circle Tower in Causeway Bay, according to property agency. Circle did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Such buildings in Causeway Bay are more than half empty now – a phenomenon described by the agent as “horrible”.
Before the social unrest in the second half of last year, occupancy of such buildings could reach 95 per cent. Monthly rents could reach about HK$60 (US$7.74) per square foot.
Rents of Ginza-style establishments have fallen 30 to 40 per cent since then. In Causeway Bay, the rate would be less than HK$40 per square foot now.
Potential tenants are more inclined now to choose a premises at street level, which have become cheaper. Street shops in places like Jaffe Road only cost around HK$60 per square foot a month now. Before social unrest and the health pandemic, they could fetch over HK$100 per square foot.
The agent was hopeful the change in tenant mix would help improve vacancy but it has not shown a marked sign yet because it has only just started.
Another agent said a total lack of demand from restaurant owners for space in Ginza-style buildings was driving their transformation to serve different purposes.
“No tenant would rent it. There is no demand,” the agent said. “That’s why they change; it’s easier to find doctors.”
Tse said the trend would continue in the next three to four months since the catering industry was “a disaster”, particularly for hotpot and buffet restaurants that would usually rent such spaces.
Another agent was equally pessimistic.
“The food and beverage sector will continue to suffer the hardest hit, and restaurant receipts are expected to further contract in the third quarter,” agent said. “As consumption sentiment remains weak, the retail market is unlikely to hop on the trajectory of recovery for the rest of 2020. Therefore, we may see more cases of substantial rent cuts later this year.”
(South China Morning Post)