RETAIL outlets affected by Guangzhou's Metro development are being forced to relocate, fuelling demand for shops in other popular areas of the city, according to a report by Uni-Pacific Property Consultants.
The report said many retail operators in Zhongshan Road, affected by the Metro project, were looking elsewhere and premises in Beijing Road and Xihu Road were in demand.
The Uni-Pacific report said the retail property market would become increasingly concentrated, and shops in unaffected areas such as Beijing Road would be more and more popular.
The agent believed the influx of foreign investors into Guangzhou, combined with the city's rising living standards and consumption power, would boost sale volumes in retail shops as well as encourage the sale of more up-market products.
Although the vacancies in 25 leading retail centres in Guangzhou were said to average about 16 per cent, prime retail premises were virtually fully occupied. The report said there were substantial variations in vacancies, prices and rents for individual retail shops, depending on whether they were in prime or inferior sites.
The sales market for retail properties was relatively quiet, while the leasing market recorded stronger activity, it said.
According to Uni-Pacific, prices of retail properties in Guangzhou had remained steady over the past two years.
The marked differences of retail rentals from one shop to the other were caused by their various locations as well as their market positioning, the report said.
Uni-Pacific's research showed that demand for retail properties in Beijing Road and Xihu Road was outstripping supply, which had contributed to a sharp rise in retail rentals there.
The average rental price for retail space in Beijing Road and Xihu Road was about $185 per square foot per month. Shops in the surrounding areas also commanded high rents.