A three-bedroom flat at City One Shatin is being offered for a monthly rent of HK$14,000, back to the level five years ago, the Sky Post reported on Wednesday, citing sources from Midland Realty.
According to Midland senior sales manager Marco Yung Hoi-kit, the 688 square foot unit at Block 28 used to fetch HK$16,500 in 2013, and the rent even climbed to HK$20,000 earlier this year.
At least 65 units at the estate are currently available for rent, up from 50-plus during the same period last year.
Many flat owners are far from optimistic about the outlook of property prices and would rather rent out their units than sell them.
Yung cited the owner of a two-bedroom, 327 sq. ft. flat who planned to sell it for HK$4.4 million in late August, but has now opted to lease it for HK$11,000 a month after failing to draw interest from the market.
He said rents of mid-sized flats at City One Shatin could fall further to HK$12,000-13,000 a month by the turn of the year.
In Tseung Kwan O, rents for apartments at LOHAS Park are falling fast. Two three-bedroom flats measuring 730 sq. ft. each were leased out for HK$16,000 a month, down from HK$17,500 a month at the end of September.
According to Midland assistant district manager Tse Kin-yip, rents of three-bedroom units could go down to HK$14,000-15,000 a month by December, as landlords compete to secure a tenant.
On Hong Kong Island, rents at blue chip Taikoo Shing have fallen 1-2 percent this month. The owner of a three-bedroom, 785 sq. ft. flat at Tsui Kung Mansion has slashed rents three times in the space of a month, from HK$36,000 in early October to HK$31,000 when the flat was finally rented out recently.
Deutsche Bank said more and more flat owners are turning to the leasing market and are ready to cut rents in order to secure a contract.
The bulk of the rental agreements signed this week were below market prices.
Andy Kwan Cheuk-chiu, director of the ACE Centre for Business and Economic Research, said property prices have peaked and could go down by more than 10 percent from present levels.
Kwan warned prospective buyers to carefully assess prices before making a purchase.
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