Rents edge down for the first time in 30 months

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 November, 2011, 12:00am


Rents of homes in the city declined a modest 0.5 per cent last month, marking the first fall in the past 30 months.

Data compiled by Centaline Property Agency showed the average rent at 85 selected housing estates that it monitored stood at HK$20.50 per square foot last month, representing a 0.5 per cent drop compared with the HK$20.60 recorded in September. That rental decline was the first since March 2009.

A similar survey by another property agency, Midland Realty, showed that in the 100 housing estates it monitored in October, the average rent decreased by a larger margin, of 1.4 per cent month on month, to HK$20.60 per sq ft.

Centaline said the biggest fall was recorded at Whampoa Garden, where the average rent fell 4.1 per cent month on month. Rents at Taikoo Shing averaged at HK$28.40 per sq ft a month, down 2.1 per cent from September. Other estates that saw a decline included Sceneway Garden in Lam Tin, Kornhill in Quarry Bay, Heng Fa Chuen and South Horizons on Hong Kong Island.

Mei Foo Sun Chuen posted an increase of 2.7 per cent in average rent to HK$19.10 per sq ft, while Kingswood Villas in Tin Shui Wai showed a 1 per cent rise to HK$10.60 per sq ft.

The rental market would continue to soften in the short term as the number of flats available for rent was expected to increase, Centaline said. Many property owners were refusing to sell their flats in a falling market and preferred to rent them out instead.

Government measures, together with monetary tightening on the mainland, global economic uncertainty and a minor upward adjustment of lending rates at some banks, have had a negative impact on the housing market.

All major housing estates have recorded declines in the selling price. Based on an overall residential price index compiled by DTZ, prices fell 7.4 per cent in the third quarter.