subsidies

Desperate landlords offer renovation subsidies to lure tenants as Hong Kong’s vacant office space hits 21-year high

Hong Kong’s commercial landlords are offering incentives such as renovation subsidies to lure tenants, as the amount of office space lying empty reaches the highest level in 21 years, according to property services company CBRE.

Some landlords have begun offering a one-off subsidy to help new tenants fit out their office space, said Alan Lok, executive director of advisory and transaction services for offices at CBRE.

“In some cases, the landlord would offer a subsidy of about HK$100 (US$12.9) per square foot,” said Lok during a briefing on Wednesday.

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The subsidy is attractive because relocation costs in Hong Kong are very expensive, he said. For a prime renovation costing HK$1,000 per sq ft, the relocation cost may add up to HK$1,200 per sq ft after including the price of returning the office to its original state when the lease ends. The cost can be spread out to a monthly HK$30 per sq ft or thereabouts over three years.

“For most relocations with cutting costs as the objective, it takes a place with a rent of HK$30 per square foot less than” the original rent to justify the move, said Lok. “Some offices do not have their head offices in Hong Kong. It is not that easy to approve that sum [for renovation].”

According to CBRE, 7.8 million sq ft of office space – greater than the size of four Central Plazas – sat vacant in Hong Kong in September, the highest since 1999. An additional 950,000 sq ft of surrendered space – returned by tenants before the lease expires – is available in the market, just shy of the size of the HSBC building.

Desperate landlords have been offering a broader range

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Desperate landlords offer renovation subsidies to lure tenants as Hong Kong’s vacant office space hits 21-year high



a skyscraper in a city: The amount of office space lying empty reached the highest level in 21 years in September, according to property services company CBRE. Photo: K Y Cheng


© SCMP
The amount of office space lying empty reached the highest level in 21 years in September, according to property services company CBRE. Photo: K Y Cheng

Hong Kong’s commercial landlords are offering incentives such as renovation subsidies to lure tenants, as the amount of office space lying empty reaches the highest level in 21 years, according to property services company CBRE.

Some landlords have begun offering a one-off subsidy to help new tenants fit out their office space, said Alan Lok, executive director of advisory and transaction services for offices at CBRE.

“In some cases, the landlord would offer a subsidy of about HK$100 (US$12.9) per square foot,” said Lok during a briefing on Wednesday.

Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.

The subsidy is attractive because relocation costs in Hong Kong are very expensive, he said. For a prime renovation costing HK$1,000 per sq ft, the relocation cost may add up to HK$1,200 per sq ft after including the price of returning the office to its original state when the lease ends. The cost can be spread out to a monthly HK$30 per sq ft or thereabouts over three years.

“For most relocations with cutting costs as the objective, it takes a place with a rent of HK$30 per square foot less than” the original rent to justify the move, said Lok. “Some offices do not have their head offices in Hong Kong. It is not that easy to approve that sum (for renovation).”

According to CBRE, 7.8 million sq ft of office space – greater than the size of four Central Plazas – sat vacant in Hong Kong in September, the highest since 1999. An additional 950,000 sq ft of surrendered space – returned by

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HomeBuilder scheme providing $25,000 home renovation subsidies axed in the Budget

Revealed: The home renovation scheme quietly axed in the Budget just months after it was launched – so how long do YOU have?

  • HomeBuilder scheme providing $25,000 renovation grants was discontinued
  • The $688million program available to build new house worth up to $750,000
  • Grant was also available to renovate an existing home worth  up to $1.5million
  • Home First Loan Deposit Scheme instead extended to cover newly-built homes 

A controversial home construction scheme providing $25,000 renovation grants has been quietly axed in the Budget just four months after it was launched.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in June unveiled the $688million HomeBuilder program offering 27,000 subsidies in the hope this would support 140,000 jobs in the struggling construction sector.

Australians were able to claim $25,000 from taxpayers to build a new house worth up to $750,000 or renovate an existing one valued between $750,000 and $1.5million.

A controversial home construction scheme providing $25,000 renovation grants has been quietly axed in the Budget just four months after it was launched. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in June unveiled the $688million HomeBuilder program offering 27,000 subsidies in the hope this would support 140,000 jobs in the struggling construction sector. Pictured is a Melbourne house under construction

A controversial home construction scheme providing $25,000 renovation grants has been quietly axed in the Budget just four months after it was launched. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in June unveiled the $688million HomeBuilder program offering 27,000 subsidies in the hope this would support 140,000 jobs in the struggling construction sector. Pictured is a Melbourne house under construction

Despite that, building approvals in New South Wales, Australia’s most populated state, plunged by 14.2 per cent in August.

This however followed a 32 per cent increase in July as the aftermath of coronavirus lockdown delays caused a short-lived spike in approvals.

National building approvals fell by 1.6 per cent in August, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics results released less than a week before Budget day.

The Budget papers released on Tuesday showed no further funding for HomeBuilder,

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