Industry experts reveal that Hong Kong’s coworking market is becoming oversaturated and expect to see some prominent operators withdraw from the competitive area.
For example, one of China’s biggest flexible office firms Kr Space cancelled a five-year lease taking up seven floors at Chinachem’s One Hennessy building and is now being sued by Chinachem for breach of contract.
Ricky Lau, deputy director at real estate services company Savills, believes that the huge expansion was a bit too fast for an area that is not home to a big startup and entrepreneurial community.
“It is a bit more difficult to make money from this business model than investors and operators thought, and now we see funders showing less interest in the sector,” said Lau. “[Coworking’s] money-burning model needs at least another few years for it to be profitable in Hong Kong.”
Some analysts believe the decrease in investments is not a sign that investors are losing interest, but that they are becoming more cautious of the market as a whole.
Still, a few operators are remaining positive in the face of uncertainty. TheDesk, for example, currently operates three profitable spaces and just opened its fourth.