Heung Gong – the Cantonese translation of Hong Kong means “Fragrant Harbor,” a name inspired by the city’s past as an incense trading port.
On July 15th here in my hometown, Hong Kong enacted its most stringent Covid-19 lockdown to date. The number of cases here has continued to rise over the past ten days with many of the new infections are coming from unknown origins.
I arrived early in the morning at Kinshasa’s N'djili International Airport this past January 29th on a connecting flight from Addis Ababa. Upon arrival, I expected the same chaos that I experienced during my previous surveys in 2003 and 2008, but I was pleasantly surprised.
My expectations for my November visit to Luxembourg did not include traffic jams, road closures, scaffolding, bulldozers, excavators, jackhammers, or circumnavigating around open-pit construction sites, but that’s exactly what I found.
The Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai, referred to by many as BKC, has continued to develop and is fast becoming the new business and residential heart of Mumbai. Originally intended to serve as an alternate business district to help decongest south Mumbai, commercial office stock has increased at phenomenal rates in the past five years. BKC now houses India’s Stock Exchange and the Indian headquarters of many large multinational companies.
Mumbai has long been known as a city with high levels of air pollution from the choking congestion and horrendous traffic conditions. During my recent survey, I confirmed that this reputation has yet to change! The construction of the elevated lines of the Mumbai Metro project continues to aggravate traffic problems along SV Road in the expat areas of Bandra, Santa Cruz, and Khar. Additionally, rush-hour gridlock in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) is being impacted by the work on the BKC Metro station project where there will be a new Metro Line 3 and 2B interchange.
Santa Cruz is considered one of the world’s fastest growing cities due to the ongoing migration of Bolivians from the rural regions to the country’s economic powerhouse. During my recent survey, I learned much about this developing city.
Construction of new apartments and houses over the last four years has created a large rental supply in Santa Cruz. Lower demand for these rentals has resulted in dropping rents. Vacancy rates are high at all but the most popular apartment buildings. Construction continues, with more 2-3-bedroom apartments planned to enter the rental market in the next 6-18 months. However, sources believe rents have likely reached their lowest point.
Oil was discovered offshore Guyana nearly five years ago, but the country has taken a fairly measured approach to development, bringing in consultants to ensure that the oil industry (and the country’s future economy) is stable. The first extraction project, Liza Phase I, is on schedule to begin production of 120,000 barrels of oil per day starting in Q1 2020. The rate of incoming workers is picking up speed and demand has risen quickly not only for rentals properties, but also goods and services.
Since the 2015 discovery of vast oil deposits two hundred kilometers off Guyana’s coastline, the country has become one of the hottest oil and gas locations in the world. The capital city of Georgetown is now a center of activity as exploration, planning, and infrastructure development progress.