Date
22 November 2017
San Fung Ave. is lined with shops that cater to Chinese parallel traders (right picture). Photos: North District Parallel Imports Concern Group/Facebook
San Fung Ave. is lined with shops that cater to Chinese parallel traders (right picture). Photos: North District Parallel Imports Concern Group/Facebook

Parallel trade blamed for Sheung Shui rents tripling in 5 years

Some shops in Sheung Shui district frequented by Chinese parallel traders have seen their rents triple in five years.

These are in San Kung St., mostly supplying mainlanders who sell the goods across the border, Apple Daily reported Tuesday.  

In San Fung Ave., some shops selling medicines, cosmetics and basic necessities are more expensive to rent than comparable premises in Tsim Sha Tsui’s Granville Road, a major shopping artery, the report said, citing data from the Rating and Valuation Department.

More drugstores are opening in the border district, expanding the business area from San Fung Ave. to San Kung St., San Hong St. and Hong Tsai St. thanks to an influx of parallel traders.

Drugstores in San Fung Ave. are paying 10 percent more rent but a shop at 105 San Fung Ave. is expected to earn rental income of HK$2.67 million this year, up more than 200 percent over five years, and outstripping comparable premises in Granville Road, the report said.

Half of the shops in San Kung St. sell candies and cosmetics.

A ground-floor shop space is rare these days because of surging demand from tenants, according to local property agents.

Most recently, a drugstore owner offered HK$300,000 (US$38,640) a month for a street-level shopfront in San Hong St., they said.

A stationery shop owner, surnamed Chow, said the once quiet neighborhood has changed dramatically with the proliferation of businesses.

He said he is paying double last year’s rent and would be forced to close if it goes up any further.

Economist Andy Kwan said China’s individual visit scheme and the booming parallel trade are to blame for surging rents in Sheung Shui and other border areas such as Yuen Long and Tuen Mun.

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EL/AC/RA

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