Rising rents and surging prices of apartments in Hong Kong are driving a trend towards conversions of older industrial and commercial buildings into lofts.

Created with or without formal government approval in old or disused industrial and office buildings, loft apartments appeal to buyers or tenants in Hong Kong, say agents, because of their big spaces, high ceilings, and more importantly, rentals or prices that are far below market prices.

'With a HK$4m budget you can probably afford no more than a standard 500 square foot on Hong Kong island, but your living space will double if you pick up an old and inferior (or grade-C) commercial building turned apartment in Sheung Wan,' said a property agent of Kamson Property Agency in Sheung Wan.

South China Morning Post