Monthly Update: February 2012

Market News

Analysts last month confirmed that Hong Kong’s housing market has been cooling with rents in December 2011 falling more than 3% from November. That said, in the last month many are saying that prices may have bottomed out with a more positive sentiment in the market in the last few weeks. Read this all to mean that nobody is very sure what is going to happen in 2012!

Record tourist numbers over the Lunar New Year raised casino revenues by 35% from one year ago. Many of the big names in Macau released their results in the last few weeks and almost all beat experts estimations to post new record profits and revenue.

Office rental prices in Beijing have for the first time overtaken prices in New York to come in as the 5th most expensive prices in the world. Unsurprisingly, Hong Kong remains top of the list alongside Tokyo but more cities in China are expected to impact the list in the coming years.

The IMF had a pretty grim view on Chinese growth should Europe plunge into the abyss. In a report, it was claimed that growth in China could be cut by more than half if Europe should suffer a severe downturn. It encouraged the Chinese government to implement a huge stimulus package before adding that it actually expected growth to be around 8.2%. At the same time another think tank predicts that China will experience a soft landing with growth at a maximum of 8.5% on the back of a growth in domestic demand. Finding out who is right will take time but most people on the ground here in the region think that 2012 will be a strong year in the 2nd half.

Whilst lower residential rents fell in Hong Kong, higher end rental rates in 2011 rose by more than 15%! Hong Kong’s position as the world’s most expensive city looks to be relatively secure in the coming years with prices set to increase “by only around 10% this year” – alright if you can afford it!


Poll Result

This month we ask for your views on interviews and what you looked to get from them:

The results were quite varied. Most people (32%) voted to say they use an interview to find out information regarding the position. Secondary to this people voted to say they use an interview to get an offer or 2nd meeting – we think this is the most important thing people should be focusing on at an interview. Whilst you can find out about the company, culture, position, people and all manner of other things, unless you actually get an offer or 2nd interview, you have nothing to actually decide on. We often coach people to put their predetermined opinions to one side and get 2-3 offers – that way they are able to choose which suits them best. Thankfully a smaller number of you (4% each) decided that an interview was the time to look at salary information, test the market or position yourself to bargain with your current role! We generally advise against all three of these as they have the tendency to blow up in people’s faces if the only focus at interview is this.

What’s Hot

We are extremely busy across all sectors from interior designers with hotel experience (we need lots of you!) to design directors and team leaders within specific sectors. What we have noticed with our roles is that our clients are more willing to wait for the right candidates than they perhaps have been in the past. This does mean they are more selective about who they will interview and won’t tend to look outside the remits of their job specs when considering applicants. Senior candidates with China experience, language skills and leadership experience are need in Hong Kong and in China for architecture firms. We are also looking for a few business development type candidates for design firms.

On the developer side we have many opportunities in China for project managers and in the last month have seen an uplift in the roles we have filled for Hong Kong based candidates. We still need architects, PMs, SPMs and people willing to be stationed in China. For those that are willing to be based in China, there are some extremely interesting projects and senior positions available. These are positions which will really stand out on a CV and provide someone with an opportunity to reach a senior level within a top developer very quickly.

We will keep updating you all via Twitter as new roles come in but check our website for more details.

Most Urgent Requirements

We have outlined below the urgent vacancies we have had through from clients over the last month.

  • Director of Architect – Shanghai – A leading international architecture company
  • Mandarin Project Architects – Shanghai – great roles with an award winning design firm
  • Interior Design Leader – Retail and Hotels – Shanghai – head up the new interiors team in this growing successful office
  • Landscape Designers – Shanghai – one of our best clients offering some great opportunities for those with hotel/resort experience (still need more of these!)
  • Senior Project Manager – Beijing – top tier developer with a luxury hotel project
  • Deputy Project Managers – Hong Kong – The top tier Hong Kong developer with exciting locally based projects
  • Deputy General Manager – exclusive – Hong Kong – one of the regions most desirable developers looking for lots of people – we found one person, now we need another!
  • Hotel Interior Designers – Hong Kong – top design firms needing a few good hotel interiors candidates at all levels
  • Business Development Managers and Directors – China and Hong Kong – people required for a number of the world’s top design names
  • Workplace Team Leader – Hong Kong – a number of opportunities for top corporate interior designers who want to design rather than business develop!

We also have many, many more roles posted on our website and these are only an overview of our top positions at this time. Please check back regularly. The easiest way to stay up to date with our latest positions is to follow us on Twitter.

Please visit our website for more information on the above roles and our other vacancies:

If you wish to enquire about a position please send an email and your CV to

Follow us on Twitter here: Please also subscribe to our blog by filling in the email subscription form on the right to stay up to date with our latest posts, updates and information.


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