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No recovery in office rental sector   2009-11-29 - VNS

The office-for-lease market in HCM City is yet to show signs of recovery from the economic downtown, due to an increased supply in high-rise office space.

The total area of high-rise offices would reach 1 million sq.metres in the next few years, of which 60 per cent is located in District 1, according to Savills Viet Nam Ltd.

Meanwhile, the demand for offices for lease has dropped in the third quarter and continues to fall in the fourth quarter, according to Savills Viet Nam Ltd.

Rental prices are declining to stimulate demand however many high-sky office buildings for lease remain vacant.

The benchmark of office-for-lease prices has dropped by 30-50 per cent with prices in HCM City bottoming out.

The current ceiling price is $70 a square metre a month.

Kumho Asiana Plaza, a newly built commercial building that started operation at the end of the third quarter, has supplied 25,700sq.m for the market, making the supply of A-level offices for lease soar by 5 per cent.

The operation of Kumho Asiana Plaza in particular has caused the occupancy rate of A-level offices for lease to fall by 15 per cent, from 96 per cent to 81 per cent.

Several domestic and foreign firms are reducing business, production activities and employees due to the global slowdown.

Many real estate analysts forecast that the golden time of for-lease office buildings was over, but said that when the economy in Viet Nam improves, the price of commercial premises is certain to increase.

For-lease A-level offices prices, ranged between $60-100 a square metre a month in 2008, have now fallen to $40-70.

Similarly, office prices of B-level towers reduced to $30-35 a square metre a month from $40-45. Meanwhile, prices of C-level towers have reduced to $10-15 from $20-27 a square metre.

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