HONG KONG, CHINA: Henderson Sunlight Asset Management Limited (the “Manager”), as manager of Sunlight Real Estate Investment Trust (“Sunlight REIT”), announces the operational statistics of Sunlight REIT for the third quarter of the financial year 2019/20.
At 31 March 2020, the occupancy rate of Sunlight REIT’s portfolio was 95.9% as compared to 96.1% at 31 December 2019. Office occupancy rate was largely unchanged at 95.6% (31 December 2019: 95.7%), while retail occupancy rate recorded a slight decrease to 96.4% (31 December 2019: 97.1%), principally caused by a higher vacancy rate at Metro City Phase I Property (“MCPI”).
Average passing rent of Sunlight REIT’s portfolio was HK$49.3 per sq. ft. at 31 March 2020, while office and retail rental reversions for the quarter were 10.3% and 2.5% respectively. The reported statistics reflected the relatively stable office leasing demand in decentralized business areas where Sunlight REIT has a reasonable presence; however, they also signified an exceptionally difficult retail environment attributable to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Manager envisages that slower and/or negative rental reversion would be a more predominant feature for the retail portfolio until the COVID-19 situation comes under control.
In respect of the operating performance of Sunlight REIT’s key office properties, Sunlight Tower demonstrated its resilience in the midst of mounting economic headwinds, as its occupancy rate stayed at 96.4% with a decent rental reversion of 17.1% for the quarter. Meanwhile, Strand 50’s occupancy rate improved to 91.7%, as the renovation project involving the low zone of the building was nearing completion.
On the retail front, occupancy rate of MCPI decreased to 95.8% while rental reversion for the quarter was 1.4%. For Sheung Shui Centre Shopping Arcade, its occupancy rate stayed at a satisfactory level of 96.3%; however, the severe disruption to retail sales had clearly heightened tenants’ caution, resulting in a negative rental reversion of 1.3% for the quarter.