Office Floor In United Centre Sold For HK$515m
HONG KONG – An entire office floor on level 30 of the United Centre in Admiralty has been purchased for HK$515 million (US$66.1 million). This translates to HK$29,022 psf based on the commercial property’s area of 17,745 sq ft, reported Mingtiandi on Saturday (2 October).
But the seller, Wang On Properties, only got a markup of a 0.5 percent as it forked out HK$512.2 million to acquire the office space in 2016.
In the months after that, monthly rents for office space on United Centre’s high-level floor ranged up to HK$56 psf. But this year, the maximum rent for such office unit is HK$50 psf, while office rents in Admiralty declined 10.1 percent during the first 8 months of 2021, based on data from Midland IC&I.
At present, the 17,745 sq ft office space is rented out to a tenant for HK$1.1 million per month, with the lease expiring on 31 March 2023.
Wang On’s divestment comes as office rents in high-end buildings across Hong Kong rose by 6 to 8 percent in August. A rebound in strata office deals also occurred following a 2-year slowdown due to the massive protests in 2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
In fact, the market recorded 17 sales of full office floors during the first 7 months of the year compared to just 15 for the whole of 2020, according to figures from Midland IC&I research.
One reason for the “healthy pick-up” in market activity is the cancellation of the double stamp duty in 2021, said real estate consultancy Colliers.
Of the 17 transactions seen this year, at least 6 occurred in June and July. In June, First Group Holdings sold its headquarters on the ninth floor of the Rykadan Capital Tower in Kwun Tong for HK$135 million, which translated to a 13.5 percent loss.
In July, a 24,980 sq ft office floor of the Center on Queen’s Road was divested for HK$674 million (HK$27,000 psf). In September, a 16,100 office floor at Enterprise Plaza in Kowloon Bay changed hands for HK$143 million, but its psf price of HK$8,900 is lower than the market price by 10 percent.