The Straits Times
Published on Oct 30, 2012

HK's lack of new office supply threatens status as corporate hub: Study


HONG KONG (REUTERS) - Hong Kong, home to some of the world's highest commercial property rents, is facing a shortfall of nine million square feet of office space by 2020, threatening its status as a leading destination for companies, a report shows.

The study by commercial real estate services firm CBRE comes just days after Hong Kong announced its first residential property tax targeted at overseas buyers as US quantitative easing and record-low interest rates boost the risk of a housing bubble in the Asian financial centre.

"Hong Kong is at risk of choking itself at future economic growth and prosperity because it's not delivering the office space to satisfy the demand," said Mr Craig Shute, senior managing director at CBRE.

The forecast shortfall in office space comes even as global companies pull out of traditional core business areas in Hong Kong to cut costs as lingering economic uncertainties take a toll on firms in the world's most expensive office market.