LaSalle Investment Management, the global property investment manager, is considering a re-entry into the Hong Kong real estate market after unloading the four-star Novotel Hong Kong Nathan Road last month. Paul Guest, LaSalle's head of research and strategy for the Asia-Pacific region, said the company no longer owned any assets in Hong Kong after the hotel sale. 'We are thinking about re-entering the market,' said Guest. On April 3, LaSalle's investment fund, LaSalle Asia Opportunity Fund II, sold the hotel for HK$2.37 billion to a fund managed by Gaw Capital and CSI Properties. The LaSalle fund acquired the hotel for HK$1.69 billion in May 2007 and spent about HK$187 million on renovations. The transaction means the fund may see a gross profit of about HK$493 million, excluding the hotel income generated over the last four years. Guest said LaSalle, which has US$47.7 billion in real estate assets under management globally, is looking at new opportunities to find bargain deals from motivated sellers in a sentiment-driven market. Hong Kong's property market has been experiencing a cyclical peak, he said. Last year, LaSalle had predicted that home prices in Hong Kong would fall 15 per cent. The firm, however, has decided to revise up the prediction in the wake of the improved buying sentiment, increased sales and falling mortgage rates in the past three months. The company has yet not finalised the revised prediction. Guest said the company was still confident in retail and commercial properties in the city, where has been experiencing a surge in retail sales. Hong Kong has seen a 15.2 per cent year on year growth in retail sales in the first two months after the 24.8 per cent year-on-year rise in retail sales last year.