Property agency Centaline has reported a recent decrease in apartment rents in multiple districts in Hong Kong, with at least two deals made this week in which landlords slashed prices by about 30 percent.

A three-bedroom flat in Taikoo Shing was rented out for HK$18,500 a month on Tuesday, nearly 34 percent lower than the asking price of HK$28,000, Centaline said in a press release. The rent level was the lowest since March 2012.

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Taikoo Shing. Photo: Wikicommons.

On the same day, another three-bedroom flat in Mei Foo was leased out for HK$15,000 a month after the landlord had asked for HK$21,000—28.6 percent more—when the property was first put on the market four months ago.

Rent drops were also recorded in estates in Tsuen Wan, Sai Wan Ho, Tung Chung, and Tseung Kwan O. Among them, rents at Park Island in Tsuen Wan have returned to the same level as three years ago, Centaline said.

Local media Sky Post reported that many landlords are cutting rents when leases expire this year in order to retain tenants. The newspaper said rents are expected to further decrease by about ten percent next year.

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Centaline property agency. Photo: Wikicommons.

However, Centaline property agent Ellen Wong told HKFP it is too early to tell if rents will fall in 2016.

Wong said the residential rental market has been facing downward pressure this year because many homeowners are leasing out their properties rather than selling them.

Hong Kong is home to some of the most unaffordable housing in the world. According to the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, Hong Kong’s median home price was 17 times the median pre-tax household income in 2014, making it the most unaffordable of 378 major cities surveyed worldwide.

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.