Rents for luxury homes plunged in the first half, with declines of as much as 15 per cent in the top tier of the market, reflecting reductions in corporate housing allowances. In contrast to a pick-up in mass-market rents, landlords have been warned to brace for further falls in the luxury sector. The average rent of homes leased for between HK$50,000 and HK$100,000 a month had dropped 10 per cent this year, Landscope Christie's International Real Estate said, based on transactions handled by the consultancy firm since January. The average rent in the top bracket of homes - those above HK$100,000 a month - has declined 15 per cent. "Leasing transactions in the luxury market are not active this year. Many companies have been reducing their operating costs by cutting housing allowances for staff," the consultancy's chief executive Koh Keng Shing said. "Since it will be the low season for the leasing market during the summer holiday, more flat owners are willing to cut asking rents to lure tenants." He expects rents in the sector to drop a further 5 to 10 per cent by the end of the year. Thomas Lam, the head of valuation and consultancy at Knight Frank, said the demand for top-tier homes this year had eased from last year. The average rent of luxury flats in the Mid-Levels, the Southern district, Kowloon Tong and The Peak declined 5 per cent in the first half of the year, the firm's research showed. Lam expects a further decline of up to 5 per cent in the second half.