Tue, Feb 01, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Firm names Taipei's top buildings

ANNUAL RANKINGSCB Richard Ellis released a list of the top 10 buildings and said it expects rents in top-tier office buildings to rise in the near future

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The local branch of CB Richard Ellis Ltd, an international real estate agency, yesterday released its annual top 10 rankings for Taipei office buildings in terms of location, building image, management, rents and corporate tenants.

"2005 marks the year for the office-building market in Taipei to step up its internationalization," the company's managing director, Andrew Liu (劉學龍), said yesterday. He referred to the newly completed office buildings in Taipei as highly-internationalized and modern facilities.

The top 10 buildings as tallied by CB Richard Ellis in order of their completion date are the Taipei 101 Tower, Uni-President International Building, Continental Engineering Corp Tun Nan Office Building, Cathay Hsinyi Trading Center, Cathay Financial Center, Shinkong Manhattan World Trade Building, CEC Hander Minsheng Building, Taipei Metro, Hung Tai Century Building and the Taipei World Trade Center Building.

Among them, Taipei Metro has the highest monthly rent, averaging NT$3,600 per ping, followed by Taipei 101's NT$3,200 and Uni-President International's and Cathay Financial's NT$3,000. Only the Hung Tai Century Building is fully occupied.

Six out of the top 10 buildings are located in the Xinyi district, which Liu concluded has become the most internationalized commercial district.

Multinationals such as Microsoft, IBM, HP and Epson plan to move into the district in the next two years, according to the agency.

Liu, in particular, acknowledged Taipei 101 tower as not only a local landmark but also an internationally-renowned skyscraper, although its office space is not yet filled.

Liu expects monthly rents of the top-tier office buildings in Taipei, which currently average at NT$2,450 per ping, to rise further in the near future.

Office buildings in the Xinyi district and Tunhwa North and South Road districts will be more likely to raise rents, given their low vacancy rates, according to Lien Sheng-wu (連勝武), a researcher at the agency.

The Shinkong Life Tower, Fubon Financial Center and Aurora Intelligent Building meanwhile, which were included on the list in 2003, were bumped off the list this year as top-ranked tenants have moved out.

The agency also expressed optimism on Taipei's commercial property market this year, after rents rose 5 percent last year.

"We may see rents rebound, which will help attract investors [in the leasing market]," Liu said.

Institutional and local investors may also be interested in buying commercial properties as a result of flat prices and long-term returns from rents, Liu added.

However, the agency expects most commercial property buyers to come from the local manufacturing sector, which is marked by limited budgets and places less emphasis on location. As such, demand from this sector may not push up prices.

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