Effective rents for grade-A offices in Central fell a further 3 per cent last month to HK$25.14 per square foot, according to Cushman & Wakefield. The property consultant said companies were cautious over the economic climate and the leasing market continued to be dominated by renewal and restructuring activities. Companies that relocated were mainly down-sizing or consolidating, it said. Compared with three months ago, rents in Central declined a total of 10.6 per cent. Rents in Wan Chai and Causeway Bay dipped 2.7 per cent month-on-month to HK$18 per square foot, with an accumulated fall of 7.2 per cent from three months ago. In Hong Kong East, office rents decreased 4.5 per cent month-on-month to HK$15.38 per square foot, representing an accumulated drop of 7.3 per cent from three months earlier. Rents in Tsim Sha Tsui were unchanged at HK$16.27 per square foot month-on-month, with a fall of 1.7 per cent for the three-month period. Cushman & Wakefield said effective rents in all four key office markets were now averaging below the rates recorded in the previous market trough in August 1999. Rents in Central were 2.3 per cent below the previous market trough, according to the consultant. The rates in Wan Chai and Causeway Bay were 16 per cent down compared with the 1999 bottom, while those in Hong Kong were 0.8 per cent below. Rents in Tsim Sha Tsui were 14.8 per cent below the previous trough. The consultant expected tenant-friendly market conditions to continue for at least another 12 months. Office renters should take this opportunity to review their space requirements, it said. On the sales market, achievable price of strata-title office was HK$4,319 per square foot in Central, HK$3,660 in Wan Chai and Causeway Bay, and HK$2,482 in Tsim Sha Tsui.