Luxury gets vacant look

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 March, 2006, 12:00am

Luxury residential leasing on The Peak has been hard hit by a seasonal trough, with vacancy rates climbing for two months in a row to nearly 20 per cent in February, according to property consultant Savills.

'A lull is noted at the top end of the leasing market, where many townhouses have stood vacant since the end of last year when some top executives and their families were repatriated,' said Savills' research and consultancy senior director Simon Smith.

He expected the next influx of top budgets in April, May and June - the traditional peak season.

Despite facing rising rents, many companies have chosen not to revise their staff housing budgets, preferring to offer pay rises or bonuses instead.

'Many executives enjoying housing benefits are on personal leases, and the reluctance of companies to match rising occupational costs has meant that tenants are having to cover the deficit from their own pockets, in turn tightening their budgets,' he said.

However, leasing in the mid-range market, where rents ranged from $20,000 to $60,000, remained active.