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News Release

Hong Kong and Macau

Jones Lang LaSalle: Macau’s Property Market Expects Stable Growth Across All Sectors in 2014


​​HONG KONG AND MACAU, 14 January 2014 – Encouraged by continued economic growth and soaring gaming revenues, Macau’s property market is expected to undergo stable growth in 2014, despite the uncertain global economy following the US Federal Reserve tapering its quantitative easing (QE) program, according to Jones Lang LaSalle in its Macau 2013 Year-end Property Review today.

Macau’s gaming revenue soared 18.6% y-o-y to MOP 360.7 billion at the end of 2013, reaching a record high and exceeding the 13.5% growth in 2012. Underpinned by strong growth in the gaming sector, Macau’s GDP registered a total of MOP 259.8 billion in the first three quarters of 2013, representing 10.5% y-o-y growth.

Amid the buoyant economic environment, construction projects—including several massive entertainment developments in Cotai—continued to lend support to the fixed capital formation even though some public investment projects have been completed in 1H13, posting 5.7% y-o-y growth to MOP 30.6 billion for the first three quarters of 2013. Benefitting from economic prosperity, the private consumption expenditure also reported strong growth, up 6.6% y-o-y to MOP 51.9 billion during the same period. On the back of the gaming revenue maintaining an strong growth in 4Q13, Macau’s GDP was expected to register a double-digit growth throughout 2013.

Supported by the operation of the Guangzhou–Zhuhai Intercity Railway and the expansion of the Gongbei Port in 2013, the travel industry experienced notable growth as well. Macau’s total visitor arrivals reached 26.7 million in the first 11 months of 2013, up 5% y-o-y. Chinese visitors still accounted for the lion’s share, making up 63.6% of the total visitor arrivals. Among them, Individual Traveler Scheme (ITS) accounted for 43.3% of the total Mainland China visitors.

The labour market remained healthy, with unemployment standing at only 1.9% in November 2013, while the overall median monthly employment earnings remained at MOP 12,000, according to the government’s latest statistics. As of November 2013, the total number of foreign workers in Macau reached a record-high level of 135,886, an increase of 25,334 from the end of 2012, which is the largest increase of foreign workers for a single year. With a number of large-scale entertainment projects still undergoing construction, it is expected that more manpower is needed in the coming years, and the number of foreign workers will continue to rise.

Alvin Mak, Associate Director for Research at Jones Lang LaSalle Macau, said, “We expect Macau’s property market to maintain substantial growth throughout 2014 amid the robust gaming performance, sufficient capital flows in the market and strong demand for properties across all sectors.”

Residential

The transaction volumes in the residential market witnessed a gradual recovery in 4Q13 after contracting significantly in the first three quarters. According to the Macau government’s statistics, a total of 11,162 residential transactions were recorded for the first 11 months of 2013—down by 30% y-o-y—with the market especially subdued in 2H13 following the launch of the ordinance on property presales on 1 June. However, the market saw a pickup in 4Q13 after developers received presale approval for their new project launches and property agents gradually came to terms with the new laws regulating the operation of property agencies.

Despite the slowdown in 2H13, two major projects were launched: Nova Park, Tower 2 in Taipa City Center and The Residencia Macau, Tower 6 in Pearl District, Macau Peninsula. About 180 units from these two projects were sold, with unit prices ranging from HKD 8,500 to HKD 11,665 per sq ft (gross).

Driven by the growing number of foreign workers and subsequent strong housing demand, the leasing market saw rents respectively rising 17.7% and 20.6% in the high-end and mass-to-medium sectors.

Capital values also reported strong performance, up 31.8% y-o-y and 37.5% y-o-y in the high-end and mass-to-medium sectors, respectively. The investment yields in both sectors respectively reached 2.07% and 2.02% at the end of 4Q13.

Jeff Wong, Head of Residential at Jones Lang LaSalle Macau, commented, “We expect a total of 1,800 residential units to be completed in 2014, and more will enter the market in the next few years after the town planning of Ilha and North Taipa materialise. With more supply in the market to meet the strong housing demand, we expect both the sales and leasing markets to maintain an upward trend in the near future.”

Office

The office market reported substantial growth in capital value after restrictive measures were imposed in the residential sector, and, as a result, the inflow of investment capital into the office sector surged. According to Jones Lang LaSalle’s research, the capital value of the office market soared 68.4% y-o-y in 2013, while rental value edged up by 20.2% y-o-y. However, the investment yield contracted to 2.23% at the end of 2013.

On the supply side, it is expected that only one new Grade A office in Nam Van Lake Zone A will be completed in 2014, adding a total of 280,000 sq ft of new office space to the leasing market.
The gaming, hotel and real estate industries are still the major sources for office leasing demand. The continued growth of this demand resulted in a further drop in the average vacancy rate. At end of 2013, the average vacancy rate in the office sector fell to around 11%, while the vacancy rate dropped to less than 10% in Grade A office buildings.

Alison Yip, Associate Director, Agency – Macau at Jones Lang LaSalle Macau, remarked, “Driven by the positive business environment in Macau, the leasing demand in office properties, especially in the Grade A office sector, will remain strong. We expect Grade A office rents to increase further in 2014.”

Retail

Macau’s retail sector thrived with another year of sustained growth. Backed by the stable growth of China’s economy, retail sales in Macau increased 21% y-o-y to MOP 47.3 billion in the first three quarters of 2013. Meanwhile, investors remained optimistic about the outlook of the retail sector, especially retail businesses in prime locations such as the Rua de S. Domingos and NAPE areas, both of which are favoured by retailers for further business expansion.

For instance, two shops, about 3,900 sq ft (gross) and 2,850 sq ft (gross), were sold in the NAPE area for about HKD 220 million and HKD 110 million, respectively. Rua de S. Domingos recorded two large retail leasing transactions for about HKD 800,000 and HKD 600,000 in 2H13. In addition, a renowned international fashion brand leased an en-bloc building with total lettable GFA (net) of 21,184 sq ft in Largo da Companhia de Jesus for HKD 2.4 million per month.
According to Jones Lang LaSalle’s Macau Retail Index, the capital value for retail properties rose 31.3% in 2013, while their rental value edged up 6.2%. The investment yields fell 0.5% y-o-y to 2.2%.

Investment

The most notable transaction in the investment market in 2013 was made by Caesars Entertainment. The company reportedly sold Caesars Golf in Cotai to Pearl Dynasty Investment Ltd for about HKD 3.5 billion in 2H13.
In addition, the Emperor Entertainment Hotel Ltd. has purchased a 17-storey three-star hotel in Taipa with 262 rooms for HKD 900 million at end of 2013.

Gregory Ku, Managing Director at Jones Lang LaSalle Macau, said, “We expect all sectors to report steady growth in 2014, and investment funds and institutions to remain active in seeking investment opportunities across the board. Considering the prosperous economic environment and the continued robust growth of the gaming industry, we are optimistic about the outlook of the property market for 2014.”

Estimated Value Sector Growth in 2014:

​ Capital Value​​Rental Value
​Residential high-end​+10%​+15%
Residential mass and mediu​m​​+10 to 15%​+15% to 20%
Office​​+20%​+10% to 15%
Retail​​+10%​Stable