Hong Kong city-center office prices, down by almost half since Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s collapse, may rise 34% this year, as speculators bet on local economic recovery, CB Richard Ellis said.

The average price of prime office units in the Central business district may rise to HK$13,000 ($1,680) a square foot by year-end from HK$11,167 in May as rich individuals seek alternative investments to stocks and bank savings, Benedict Ma, an analyst at CB Richard Ellis, said in an interview yesterday.