Property Digest offers market guide

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 June, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 June, 1994, 12:00am

Jonese Lang Wootton's Asia Property Digest presents a comprehensive guide to the property markets in Southeast and east Asia. Property Post has summarised major points in the digest to offer readers a glimpse of the current state of the market in the region.

Singapore THE Singapore property market turned in a sluggish performance during the first quarter of 1994, says the report.

Both office and retail rents increased slightly or remained static while prices for commercial space remained virtually unchanged.

Rents for commercial space in the central business district (CBD) increased by five per cent to roughly S$104 (HK$520) per square metre in the light of declining vacancies, the report says.

Vacancy rates decreased during the past three months from 6.8 per cent to 5.8 per cent in March.

Vacancies in the CBD, particularly at Raffles Place, are expected to continue to decline over the next few months due to healthy demand and relatively low supply.

No major sales were recorded during the last three months and prime investment yields remained virtually static at 3.50 to 4.0 per cent.

Research estimates average prime office capital values have remained stable at S$2,906 per sq m as of March, 1994. Elsewhere on the island state, rents increased by 3.4 per cent to about S$70 per sq m.

INDONESIA THE supply of new retail space in Jakarta has continued to expand in a stable property market, following three years of falling sales and rental values in the office sector.

The report says the supply of retail space in Jakarta has continued its upward trend of the past four years. About 53,000 square metres of new retail space is expected to be built by the end of 1994.

Average retail rents remained unchanged from the previous quarter at US$744 per sq m per annum.

Capital values also remained stable at $7,456 per sq metre in March for prime first-floor space.

Prime investment yields also stabilised during the first quarter, at between nine and 10 per cent.

Prime office floor space cost $2,402 per sq m to buy and $156 per sq m per annum to rent in March. Capital values were $3,000 per sq m and rentals $230 per sq m per annum in 1991.

Office vacancies have continued to fall from the high point of 16 per cent in 1992, by dropping slightly from 13.1 per cent in December to 11.2 per cent in March.

No new prime office space was built in the first quarter, but about 220,500 sq m is scheduled for completion by the end of the year. An additional 700,000 sq m of prime office space is expected in 1995 and 1996.

TAIWAN TAIPEI'S commercial vacancy rates continued to fall during the first quarter from their December 1993 levels of almost 20 per cent to 15 per cent in March.

Commercial rents were relatively stable at about NT$7,623 (HK$2,195) per sq m a year.

In the first quarter, there were no major Grade A office completions, the report says.

About 116,251 sq m of new office space is expected to be completed by the end of 1996, with 38,621 sq m in the Fu Bond Finance Centre scheduled for completion later this year.

Sales were subdued during the last quarter with no major investment transactions. Prime office investment yields ranged between 4.40 and 5.50 per cent in March.

Average prime office capital values increased by one per cent over the quarter and are currently at NT$148,225 per sq m, the report says.

In the retail market, the only major construction during the first quarter was Far Eastern Plaza which released 18,500 sq m of space.

Average net price rentals increased by one per cent from NT$27,000 per sq m in December to NT$27,200 per sq m at the end of March. No major investment transactions were recorded during the quarter.

JAPAN THERE has been no let up in the sharp downturn of the office market in Tokyo's central business district (CBD), with both sales and rental figures continuing to nosedive.

Tokyo CBD's prime office rentals fell 28.9 per cent last year and rentals dropped 27.5 per cent during the same period, the report says.

Tokyo's prime office rentals fell 15.5 per cent from JPY156,040 (about HK$11,546) per square metre per year to JPY131,924 per sq m per year, in the last quarter of 1993.

In the heady days from 1990 to early last year, rentals averaged JPY180,000 per sq m per year.

There were no important leases signed in the last quarter, while the fall in rental prices increased momentum. Prime office investment yields fell slightly to range from 3.1 to 5.1 per cent.

MALAYSIA FURTHER downward pressure on office rentals is expected in Kuala Lumpur where the leasing market was static during the first three months of this year.

Rents are expected to fall in the city's office market, where rental levels and capital values were steady following more than a year of decline.

Average office rents were M$440 (about HK$1,314) per square metre during the first quarter, the report says.

Significant lease agreements concluded during the three months included Binariang and Telekom Malaysia Berhad taking out 2,787 sq m and 3,716 sq m respectively at Wisma Semantan, while Brown and Root leased 3,716 sq m of Tan and Tan Tower.

Prime office capital values have remained static at M$5,371 per sq m during the first quarter, following a year of falling prices, the reports says.

But vacancy levels fell from 7.8 per cent last December to 6.8 per cent last March.

During the next two years, about 968,222 sq m of office space is expected to be completed, says the report.

Prime office investment yields have continued their upward trend to range between 7.73 per cent and 8.10 per cent in March. There were five big deals concluded during the first three months of this year. The largest of these was for M$7,050 per sq m at Wisma Kelwaram.

THAILAND LANDLORDS are offering incentives to attract tenants to office buildings as vacancy rates in Bangkok begin to rise.

The reports says one-to-three month rent-free periods are among the incentives that are to be provided. Vacancy rates have increased above 20 per cent in Bangkok.

Leasing activity over the past quarter was focused on new office buildings as tenants became increasingly more and more aware of the quality of buildings.

Construction during the first quarter released 57,520 square metres of Grade A office space onto the market.

Within the same period, three new office developments began. sites commenced with completion is scheduled for 1996.

In the investment market, no transactions were recorded during the last quarter.

Prime office investments yields were constant between 7.50 per cent and 8.50 per cent by the end of April.

In the Bangkok retail sector, major leases during the quarter included Planet Hollywood, which took up 1,600 sq m in Gayson Plaza.