Home / News / World /  Hong Kong rents set to fall as protests curb housing demand

Hong Kong housing rents are set to decline as anti-government protests continue to rock the city.

Real estate professionals forecast rents on Hong Kong’s main island, home to the central business district, will fall 2% in the next year, according to a survey conducted by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors released Thursday. That’s a reversal from the 3% gain forecast in the previous survey, which was held just as the large-scale protests started in June.

“The increase in severity of the protests appear to be weighing on the rental market, though rents still appear to be more resilient than prices," said Sean Ellison, the institute’s senior economist for Asia Pacific. “The protests do remain the main concern of survey participants, with several respondents highlighting it as a persistent downside risk."

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Residential rents climbed almost 8% in the two years through June, to be near a record-high, data from the Hong Kong Rating and Valuation Department shows.

The survey received 150 responses, mostly from chartered surveyors working in the property industry.

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Weeks of protests, which have morphed from opposing an extradition bill into a mass repudiation of China’s hold over Hong Kong, are starting to bite the city’s property market. Office vacancy rates in Central climbed to a three-year high last month, Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. said earlier this week.

Home sales have also been hit. The amount of residential property traded in July fell 35% from a year earlier, according to Ricacorp Properties Ltd.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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