Commercial real estate in Hong Kong

I spent the July 1, 2021, public holiday walking around Hong Kong Island, and was struck by the volume of vacant commercial real estate.  Over the past two years, Covid-19 and political unrest slashed tourist arrivals and sledgehammered Hong Kong’s food and beverage sector. Social distancing regulations and the absence of wealthy mainland visitors changed the nature of commercial real estate in Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Wanchai and Causeway Bay.

Commercial real estate for rent in Lan Kwai Fong
Lan Kwai Fong – Hong Kong’s party district – is full of vacant space.
Empty bar in Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong. Vacant commercial real estate
Prime Lan Kwai Fong locations stand empty…
Empty bars in Lan Kwai Fong alley. Vacant commercial real estate
…as do outlets in nearby alleys, where a few brave operators hang on.
7-Eleven store in Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong, next to an empty bar
“Club 7-Eleven,” is a favorite among budget-conscious revelers in Lan Kwai Fong.
Chain restaurant and candy store on Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong. Commercial real estate has been repurposed in the wake of Covid-19.
Some landlords adapted to the new reality. But it’s strange to see chain restaurants and candy stores where high-end jewelers and boutiques once stood.
Vacant shopfront, Central Hong Kong
Calligraphy abuts graffiti in Central.
Commercial real estate, including offices, is abundant in Central Hong Kong
Office space is available in glass towers and in the backstreets of Central.
Shops on Russell Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Causeway Bay was home to the world’s most expensive commercial real estate. Now, pop-up stores sell phone accessories and covid products on Russell Street.
Empty stores on the corner of Hennessy Road and Percival Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
The corner of Hennessy Road and Percival Street is prime commercial real estate. Abundant graffiti and layers of posters don’t inspire confidence.
Empty bar on Lockhart Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Food and beverage outlets in Wanchai are also suffering.
Bossini and Giordano stores in Central Hong Kong
It’s not all bad news. Budget clothing outlets like Giordano and Bossini still attract shoppers in Central. But it’s hard to cover the rent when you are selling items at HK$39 (US$5) a pop.