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Prime retail space hits over $200/sqm Print E-mail
Contrary to the general gloomy market for office lease, retail space in commercial centres is continuously being taken up with an average monthly rental price of $85 a square metre. And in some prime locations, rentals can reach $200-250 sqm a month.
According to a recent survey by CBRE, retail space is in prime locations abutting busy commercial streets or in crowded residential quarters, near large markets; for example Le Loi, Nguyen Hue, Dong Khoi, Ly Tu Trong, Hai Ba Trung, Le Thanh Ton, Truong Dinh, and Cach Mang Thang Tam.

In detail, retail rentals on Le Thanh Ton St for an area of 40-60 sqm this year was around $3,000-3,200 a month compared with $2,000-2,500 last year.

In order to cope with this recent price resurgence, many retailers had to look for partners to share the increasing rental cost together.

Rentals for shops located on Dong Khoi Street -- which was considered the shopping Mecca for foreign tourists and well-heeled locals -- has recently increased by $100 sqm. Meanwhile, retail rentals for shops on streets like Vo Van Tan, Nguyen Dinh Chieu and Truong Dinh reached $1,700-2,500 a month for certain properties under 80 sqm, which 35-40 percent higher than 2008.

According to the CBRE report, rentals for retail space and commercial centres in HCM City has continuously risen in recent years. In 2007, monthly rentals was $63 per square metre but in 2008 that had risen up to $83 a sqm.

In the first three months of 2009, rental framework in those commercial centres located in the centre of the city was $85 sqm, and even $250 for prime locations. The average retail rental rate was $40 sqm and A-class offices for lease fell back to $30 sqm a month.

The top-ten retail and commercial locations in HCM City are Lotte Mart, Parkson Hung Vuong, Thuan Kieu Plaza, Saigon Centre, An Dong Plaza, Parkson Dong Khoi, Tax Plaza, Diamond Plaza, Saigon Paragon and Now Zone.

In the next three years, CBRE predicts that supply for retail space in HCM City would increase by about 350,000 sqm. For example, Saigon Paragon high-class commercial centre, Phu My Hung, Dist 7 was lately put into operation in the first quarter this year with a total area of 21,000 sqm with shops selling well-known brands such as Givenchy, Jean Paul Gautier, Thierry Mugler, Giorgio Armani, Celine, Omega, and Philippe Charriol.

The Flemington Le Dai Hanh, Dist 11 with the total area of 25,458 square metres planned to be finished in Q4 of 2009, except those commercial centres that may open within this year such as The Everich in Dist 10, Saigon Palace in Dist 11 and Kumho Asisna in Dist 1 with total floor area of 70,000 square metres.

In 2010-2012, there would be hundreds of square metres in those newly built commercial centres namely Tan Phong shopping complex, The Crescent, Time Square, Saigon M&C, Saigon Pearl, Promenada-Phase 1, Vincom, SJC Tower, Promenada-Phase 2, Bitexco Financial Building, Platinum Binh Chanh, Berjaya Financial Tower.

A CBRE representative said retail rentals are expected to continue increasing in 2009 with an occupancy rate of about 95 percent on average.

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