A Controversy Over Office Rent Forecast

How will office rent move?
At least three foreign property management and consulting firms in Vietnam, namely CB Richard Ellis (CBRE), Savills and Jones Lang LaSalle, have shrugged off Cushman &Wakefield's projection.
They share a view that office rent will remain firm or drop slightly rather than sharply because of high demand.
"We do not think rent will fall quite as dramatically as some are suggesting, particularly in the Grade A office sector," says Brett Ashton, managing director of Savills Vietnam.
He says there is office space available here but supply is not redundant to cause the rent to plunge as forecast by Cushman & Wakefield.
Toby Dodd, general manager of Cushman & Wakefield in Vietnam, says office rent in Vietnam will stabilize at US$30 per square meter for Grade A, US$20 for Grade B and US$10 at Grade C. These are the same as in regional cities such as Thailand's Bangkok, Indonesia's Jakarta, Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur and the Philippines' Manila.
"That's why I believe office rent in Vietnam will be lower", Dodd told the Daily after a seminar on real estate investment held in HCMC earlier this month by the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) last week.
CBRE Vietnam's managing director Marc Townsend describes such a decline as a "collapse" if the office rent will go that way. But he concedes the current office rent is "extremely expensive" and is at least twice that in those cities.
"We do not see rental collapse," Townsend says, attributing the expensive rent to the biggest problem in relation to getting access to cheap land and infrastructure in Vietnam.
He also points out inflation, high construction cost and the "extremely difficult" chance of getting a license as other reasons. "That's the reason why Vie ...
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