Despite the uncertainty caused by rising interest rates, Hong Kong's property market is still a land of opportunity for those who know where to look, investors say. Veterans advise against buying in the office and retail sectors in mainstream districts and in favour of properties with long-term transaction completion periods. Jan Lai, who holds investment properties to the value of $1 billion, said grade-B offices priced between $2,500 per squarefoot and $4,000 per sqft for which transactions would take at least six months to complete would present good investment potential in the second half of the year. 'It is always easier to earn 10 per cent from a $2,500 per sqft grade-B office building than to earn 10 per cent from an $8,000 per sqft grade-A office building,' Mr Lai said. 'Because of the low base effect, it would not be too expensive in the absolute amount for a grade-B office compared with a grade-A one. But you can still reap the same percentage gain.' He suggested buying grade-B offices along Nathan Road in Kowloon and Gloucester Road and King's Road in Hong Kong. Because of strong growth in the first half, many property owners had been squeezing buyers by shortening the completion period to as little as three months, he said. A longer completion period would give investors a cushion to manage financial risks. Mr Lai said he had made a lot of money by selling 37 grade-B offices in the first half. For Edwin Leong, managing director and founder of Tai Hung Fai Enterprise, the scarcity of shops makes them more appealing. The rule for a safe investment was that rental income should cover interest costs, he said. With the value of shops surging in the past 18 months, Mr Leong said investors were unlikely to buy properties with a rental yield of 5 per cent or more. But he said he was taking a longer-term view. 'We are looking at properties that will achieve a rental yield of 6 per cent to 7 per cent after we upgrade them.' He said his company had sold properties with a combined value of more than $400 million since the beginning of the year.