August 23, 2012

Reality check: Hong Kong insane retail rents

It is no secret that Hong Kong property prices are one of the craziest in the world. This week's Capital Weekly comes with a very detailed article by 陳可思 that will definitely make your eyes pop out.

Hong Kong keeps its position as the world's second most expensive retail address, just after New York's 5th Avenue where the rents revolve around US$2,600 per square foot per year. Causeway Bay, namely Russell street, tops Hong Kong retail rents at above US$2,000 psf per year. Queen's Road Central in Central and Canton Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, cost an average of US$1,800 per square foot per year.
In Causeway Bay, average store rental prices have gone up by 200% since 2010. Cosmetics retailer Sasa has just signed a deal to rent a 2,600 square feet store in Causeway Bay Plaza including ground floor and basement for HK$300,000 per month. The current tenant is Walker Shop, who pays HK$190,000 monthly, which implies an increase in the rent of 58%. This deal at HK$115 per square foot per month is however considered "cheap" given the location of the store, where the market price in the ground floor is HK$500 more than what Sasa will pay.
The main argument of this article in Capital Weekly is pointing out that with these escalating prices, retailers are either pushed to move to the periphery or to the basements. Hang Seng Bank pays HK$113 psf per month to rent the basement in 52-54 Queen's Road Central. Should it be renting the ground floor of the same street, the price would not be lower than HK$1,000 psf per month.
Only the biggest brands are now bidding for leases in Hong Kong's premium locations. These brands view this a necessary investment given the Hong Kong awareness effect on the mainlanders. The most outrageous recent deal in the city is the one Zara just got to rent a 32,000 square feet (2,970 square meters) store in Central. This store is no other that H&M's flagship store in Hong Kong, in the Lane Crawford House. With this deal, H&M has just lost its flagship store to Spanish rival Zara, who will pay an astonishing HK$11M monthly. Yes, you read it right, eleven million Hong Kong dollars per month, or US$1.4 million. This is almost double the amount the Swedish chain pays for this rent since 2007. Zara will move into the store by the end of next year.
On a personal note, I'm so glad I got to read most of this article by myself! I remember during our university days when my Chinese was just elementary, I always asked J to read the Chinese financial publications such as Capital Weekly or iMoney for me... Now he still helps me out, but it's a whole different story :)


  1. Gracias por seguirme Olivia!!
    Yo tb te sigo, así que ya vamos hablando.
    Muchos besitos ;)

  2. Wow! The rent is so skyrocketing!
    I haven't been to HK but I heard it's nice to shop
    there. Lots of stores.

    Thank you darling!
    I'm now following you back on GFC.
    Hope to see you again on my blog. TC.

  3. Nice blog you have...wanna follow each other?
    please follow with GFC, just leave me a comment and I'll follow u back!

  4. Interesting post!

  5. Ι'm already a follower of your blog, If you want follow my FB page!

  6. following back! :)

  7. Wow that's crazy, $1.4M a month???!!!!So how much is the store gonna make then after paying all the employees, taxes, etc??The only good thing is that they won't have to pay high shipping costs (if they pay any) since their stuffs are made in China! This article was very interesting Olivia, thanks for reading it for us!
    P.S. I'm following via GFC!

    1. I know! Crazy stuff! I calculated they need to sell around 2,000 items per day just to cover the rental costs. Glad you liked the article :)

    2. Oh wow!!Well I hope Zara is really loved in Hong Kong and that they can come up with new and beautiful stuffs every week!!Really nice article!

  8. I follow you and I hope you will reciprocate...

  9. Me encantaria conocer Hong Kong. Te sigo!

  10. Nice Blog, now I'm following You, hope You can back me:,
    an Italian Blog with amazing Italian music !!

  11. Unbelievable prices! I can understand the rent of retail businesses there, somehow.. But apartments, pheoow :/

    Thanks for the comment love! x

    Indie by heart

  12. Hello :) I am now following you via GFC and bloglovin. Can you do the same dear?


  13. LV :)
    i´m yours a new follower..:D i hope you my too..:D

  14. Great post!! Is the biggest LV store, that i ever seen! Great blog, i´m your new follower :)

  15. good post Olivia, thank you ;)


  16. follow you back :)

  17. Awesome blog, honey)))
    you have a new follower! I hope you'll do the same))
    Thank you!))

  18. Hi girl!
    I'm just here first, but I love your blog, it's very interesing for me!
    So I'm here a new follower!
    Follow each other?

  19. love your blog! followed you in gfc and bloglovin, hope you can follow back in both!


Thank you for your comments! I truly appreciate them!

xx Olivia