Covid-19 hits HCMC office space rents

By Trung Tin   July 8, 2020 | 06:18 am PT
Covid-19 hits HCMC office space rents
An aerial views of downtown HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Rent for grade A office space in Ho Chi Minh City has fallen by 5 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, according to CBRE.

The property consultancy said in a recent report that the Covid-19 global pandemic is putting pressure on office rentals which had reached a 10-year peak just at the beginning of this year.

There were no new buildings coming into the market in the second quarter, while existing space has not been fully occupied. The vacancy rate grew from 5 percent to 11.8 percent as enterprises looked for ways to cut costs amid the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

In the last three months landlords have been reducing rentals by $1-3 per square meter per month compared to the end of 2019 to attract tenants. The market was particularly affected by lower demand from foreign companies.

CBRE forecast rents for grades A and B offices to fall by another 8-10 percent by the end of this year and vacancy rates to increase.

A report by real estate service firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) said leasing of grade A and B offices in the city saw negative growth for the first time in a decade.

The main reason was that small and medium-sized enterprises, their main tenants, terminated their contracts prematurely due to the impacts of Covid-19.

The grade A office market, despite having companies with deeper pockets as tenants, also faces many challenges.

JLL said the global economic outlook is still uncertain, and most tenants would face difficulties if Covid-19 is not controlled globally by the end of this year.

Building owners with large vacant spaces should therefore consider their rental rates and leasing strategies carefully, it added.

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