Singapore tops Asia in Q2 office rental gains

20140816-bt-singapore-tops-asia-q2-office-rental-gains-pic20140816-bt-singapore-tops-asia-q2-office-rental-gains-pic [SINGAPORE] Singapore posted the strongest quarterly gains in office rentals in Asia during the second quarter of 2014, according to latest data from JLL.

In local currency terms, Singapore continued to see the strongest quarterly rental growth of 4.6 per cent compared to the preceding quarter.

The average rental for a Grade A office space was US$828 per square metre (psm) per year, making the city-state the third most expensive after Hong Kong Central at US$1,493 psm per year and Beijing's Central Business District at US$996 psm per year.

Small-space occupiers, particularly those from the e-commerce and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) segment, continued to dominate the Singapore market.

Chua Yang Liang, JLL's head of research for South- east Asia, said the short- term tight supply has given landlords the confidence to push up rents.

"However, with the impending supply coming in 2016, this growth is likely to be clipped by about end- 2015. The upside will come from the growth in e-commerce, IT support and FMCG sectors that could continue to grow on the back of heightened consumption in Asia with increasing affluence," Dr Chua said.

The city-state's growth was closely followed by Auckland's 4.4 per cent and Beijing's 2.5 per cent growth, as vacancy edged lower in all these locations.

Growth remained steady at 2 per cent in Tokyo, while small rental increases of 1-1.5 per cent were seen in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Manila.

Rents in Jakarta fell for the first time since the third quarter of 2009, down 0.4 per cent on a quarter-on- quarter basis. JLL said this was due partly to occupier caution and with business expansion put on hold before the presidential election in July.

Compared to the second quarter of 2013, office rental growth in Singapore was 15.9 per cent.

The city-state outpaced Jakarta to become the regional outperformer on an annual basis, followed by Taipei, Bangkok and Jakarta at between 7.5 and 8.5 per cent.

Rental growth also far exceeded capital value gain in the Singapore CBD office market, which saw a quarterly 0.5 per cent growth in capital value in local currency terms. Compared to Q2 last year, the gain in capital value was 2.1 per cent.

Source: Business Times, 14 Aug 2014