MACAU HAS BECOME hot property for Hong Kong's leading real estate consultants as the once sleepy enclave awakens as 'Asia's Las Vegas'. Cashing in on the development boom, Savills and Jones Lang LaSalle have this year opened their first offices across the Pearl River Delta. 'We believe that Macau offers enormous business potential for property professionals and investors,' said Savills managing director, Raymond Lee, at the opening ceremony. Specialising in commercial and residential property services, Savills has already brokered several successful investment deals in the city and completed a number of valuation and consultancy assignments. Savills' worldwide network is advising overseas funds on entry into the Macau market. 'These are funds with whom we already have longstanding relationships,' Mr Lee said. The firm's property management services have also been in demand. 'While I am very encouraged by our success to date, we want to develop our network of business relationships even further.' Establishing the Macau office extends the company's Asia footprint which encompasses Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou on the mainland, and Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. In China, Savills has 1,700 staff working from nine offices, with the latest in Shenzhen opening in November last year. The firm has just been awarded one of Shanghai's most prestigious new contracts to manage Platinum, a 20-storey, Grade A commercial building in the central business district of Puxi. One of the world's leading international property consultants, employing 12,500 staff worldwide, Savills has joined the Macau gaming table to meet 'growing demand for professional property service providers with an international profile and experience of the Asia Pacific real estate markets'. 'Asia's buoyant real estate economy is attracting international funds in increasing numbers and Macau currently offers competitive entry into a rapidly reforming economy which is set to benefit from both its popularity among mainlanders as well as its growing international reputation,' Mr Lee said. Savills is also increasing its presence in Singapore and Japan in what it calls the 'Go big in Asia' quest. Also opening its first office in Macau, Hong Kong's largest international property consultancy, Jones Lang LaSalle, has already hit the jackpot with one of the gambling boom's biggest new contracts - The Venetian casino. Hong Kong managing director, Fung Kin-keung, has predicted Macau's property market growth will extend much wider as a result of the anticipated 30 million visitors a year by 2007. Beyond casinos and hotels, he believes 'the chain effect will be phenomenal' with 'huge potential' as Macau attracts a secondary market of retailers, service companies and professionals. As a result, the firm is looking to fill new positions in Hong Kong, Macau and the mainland.