OFFICE vacancy rates in Guangzhou average 13.8 per cent but there are no vacancies in the core central area of the city, a recent property survey has found. The survey was conducted by Guangzhou Scientific and Technological Research, according to Hong Kong real estate consultancy Brooke Hillier Parker (BHP). BHP said high rentals demanded for top grade offices had resulted in relatively high vacancy rates for this sector though it supplied no figures. Monthly rents were from US$2.30 to $3.70 per square foot. Guangzhou World Trade Centre, the most expensive office building in Guangzhou, recorded a rental of $4.30 per sq ft a month, it said. But rents for secondary offices were usually below $1.10 per sq ft a month. The selling price of good quality office space ranged from $278.7 to $325 per sq ft, it said. BHP said although there was limited office supply in Guangzhou's core business areas new supply, expected in the near future, would change that situation. Most of the new commercial buildings in the city were offices with supporting shopping malls, mainly located in the central areas, it said. The consultant forecast that about 4.3 million sq ft of office space would be completed in 1995 and 6.4 million sq ft would come on the market in 1996. New supply amounted to 2.1 million sq ft in 1994, while total new office supply from 1988 to 1993 was about 3.2 million sq ft. While city centre areas in Huanshi Road East, Dongfeng Road Central and Renmin Road were still popular locations for new office developments, at least 10 large commercial projects were due for completion in Tianhe between 1995 and 1996, it said. New buildings include Sky Central Plaza, Jonsim Plaza and Teen Plaza in Tianhe, Guangzhou Bank of America Centre in Liwan and Guangzhou Exchange Square in Dongfeng Road Central. On the residential market, BHP said housing demand in Guangzhou would increase and become very strong in the next 10 years. Improvements in living standards and urban redevelopment would fuel local demand for residential accommodation which would also be supported by businessmen working in the city, it said. Residential prices in the popular area of Dongshan ranged from $102 to $167 per sq ft while those in Tianhe, Yuexiu, Liwan and Haizhu were between $74 to $97 per sq ft. Vacancy rates for residential properties in the city centre were virtually zero while those in urban and suburban areas were 7.4 per cent and 20.8 per cent, respectively. The retail property market in Guangzhou is expected to grow significantly with the completion of many commercial buildings by next year, most containing four to six-level retail podiums.