Savills Hanoi's report on the office market in the first nine months of 2023 stated that the gross rent of 513,000 VND per sq.m per month increased by 2% quarter on quarter, primarily fuelled by an uptick in Grade A rent. Grade A rent increased by 2% quarter on quarter to 824,000 VND per sq.m per month, while Grade B and C rates remained unchanged.

Gross rent of 513,000 VND per sq.m per month in Hanoi office market increases by 2%  quarter on quarter.

“Office transactions are showing stable or even decreasing prices compared to the same period last year, especially in certain buildings. Prospective tenants should consider this as an ideal time to lease office spaces or expand their existing offices,” said Hoang Nguyet Minh, Senior Director, Commercial Leasing, Savills Hanoi.

Occupancy increased by 1 percentage point quarter on quarter but fell by 2 percentage points year on year to 85%. High-quality Grade A projects continued to attract new tenants, particularly foreign companies scouting premium locations, according to Savills Hanoi.

Take-up in the third quarter of 2023 was the highest since 2020 at 44,500 sq.m. Grade A was the most popular product.

Leasing activity was active over the nine months. Manufacturing tenants secured the most deals and the largest total leased area, with information and communications technologies (ICT), finance, insurance, and real estate sectors (FIRE), and education tenants following closely behind. Relocation secured the most deals, and most tenants favored the Secondary area due to the availability of new, high-quality projects and more budget-friendly rents while maintaining proximity to the central business districts.

The stock of 2.16 million sq.m of net leasable area (NLA) in the third quarter increased by 1% quarter on quarter and 2% year on year after the entry of Lotte Mall West Lake Hanoi with 23,000 sq.m of NLA.

Since 2019, Grade B stock has increased by 5% per annum (pa), Grade A by 4% pa, and Grade C by 1% pa. The West was the largest supplier with a 41% share or 875,800 sq.m of NLA, while the secondary had the most significant growth of 3% year on year.

Meanwhile, the vacancy rate of offices in Ho Chi Minh City reached 18% in the third quarter of 2023, with rents decreasing by between 0.2 and 2.2% quarterly, according to Knight Frank Vietnam, a leading real estate consultancy.

In its report on the Ho Chi Minh City office market in the third quarter of 2023, Knight Frank Vietnam predicted that in the fourth quarter, the office vacancy rate would increase to over 20% due to new supply in the Thu Thiem area in Thu Duc city, marking a 12-year high.

Specifically, in Ho Chi Minh City, rents decreased by 2.2% quarter on quarter for Grade A offices and 0.2% for Grade B offices, while the Grade A office vacancy rate increased to 18.2% and that of Grade B rose to 11.6%. Currently, the Grade A office segment has a total vacant floor area of about 73,000 sq.m and an average asking rent of 57.60 USD per sq.m per month.

Alex Crane, CEO of Knight Frank Vietnam, stated that a decrease in office rental prices had already been forecasted in 2022, so this is not a shock to investors. On the other hand, the new supply is welcomed by the market, as the city has not had any Grade A office buildings since 2017. He commented that this period is too long for a large urban area like Ho Chi Minh City.

According to Knight Frank Vietnam, the total office floor area for rent is currently higher than it was in 2011.

It noted that the trend of reducing the average rent of Grade A offices is partly due to the impact of the opening of new office buildings in the Thu Thiem area, which have more attractive asking rents than the central area in District 1.

The report also indicated that there would be another office building coming into operation in the fourth quarter, providing an additional 50,000 sq.m of floor space for the Grade A office market, pushing the vacancy rate to more than 20% by the end of this year. During the same period, Grade B office rental prices are also expected to decrease by 6%, down to 32 USD per sq.m per month.

Savills Hanoi stated that by the end of 2026, Hanoi’s Grade A & B office market could witness 220,000 sq.m of additional supply, or a 13% increase from the current stock.

The supply of large-scale projects up to 2026 is expected to exert pressure on rentals, especially within the Grade A segment, which will welcome nine new projects, including 68,400 sq.m of green office space. Forecasts suggest that Hanoi Grade A and B occupancy might decline to 85%, leading to a slight reduction in rents.

Both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi have performed commendably, particularly when compared to their regional counterparts that are chronically oversupplied. Both cities are now poised to receive a refresh of quality supply that will, for the most part, accelerate obsolescence in poorer quality assets, according to Savills Hanoi.

Vietnam office markets benefit from structural drivers that can easily surpass historical averages. These include the continued growth of the banking and insurance sectors, which traditionally occupy large office spaces, and large-scale relocation of government offices.

Savills also highlighted that more than 85% of Vietnam’s fastest-growing companies have ESG commitments, leading to a surge in demand for offices that meet green standards.

Source: VNA