U.S.-China trade conflict and local social unrest negatively impacted domestic consumption in Q3 2019. Retail sales fell by 17.2% y-o-y in July and August combined, the largest quarterly decline since Q4 1998.
Total visitor arrivals in July and August combined fell by 22.6% y-o-y, the largest quarterly drop since the SARS outbreak in 2003.
Although leasing activity was sluggish in Q3 2019 as more retailers become increasingly cautious towards expansion or relocation amid the ongoing protests, the period nevertheless saw some new leases signed by fashion and cosmetic retailers.
Overall high street rents fell sharply by 10.5% q-o-q, the biggest quarterly contraction since Q1 1998. Shopping mall rents were flat. CBRE expects overall high street rents to decline by another 5-10% over the remainder of 2019.