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Beijing's office building suffers rising vacancy rate
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Beijing's office renting market continued to decline in the first half of this year with the average vacancy rate rising 2.3 percentage points to 21.8 percent, according to the report released by Savills, a real estate services in China.

The average vacancy rate is a figure to reflect how much office space has not been put into use.

The report said the effective rent -- or the net amount of cash that house owners take in -- of Grade A office buildings in Beijing was 150.4 yuan (22.12 U.S. dollars) per square meter a month in the second quarter, down 5.7 percent from the first quarter. The rent had dropped 16.1 percent since the beginning of this year.

Analysts said the office renting market is closely related to the country's macro-economic performance -- the financial crisis and slowed economic growth are to blame for the office sector's downturn.

CB Richard China, a commercial real estate services in China, said in a report released on July 7 that a fresh supply of office space also led to the high vacancy rate. Beijing had 310,837 square meters of new office space coming on the market in the second quarter, making a total area of 8.18 million square meters available to be rented in Beijing currently.

Meanwhile, many foreign-invested enterprises cut their budget, which was a major factor that caused the rent to fall, according to the report.

The Beijing municipal government had unveiled preferential policies to attract more overseas companies to locate regional headquarters in Beijing. The Savills' report said these policies might help Beijing's office market rebound in the latter half of 2009.

(Xinhua News Agency July 15, 2009)

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