Growth of service firms and its impact on office location: The case of Hong Kong

Jayantha Wadu Mesthrige, Lau Stephen Siu Yu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Changes in locations of FIRE and business services firms in Hong Kong during 1980–2000 could be characterized by trends of both centralization and decentralization. A heavy concentration of finance firms in the CBD is highly significant, implying the presence of strong forces promoting the spatial concentration of the finance firms. Insurance and business service firms tend to locate mainly in areas adjoining the CBD in order to enjoy the externalities or support services, which CBD offers. Volatility in rents has also provided opportunities for firms to relocate within the CBD at lower cost. In contrast, real estate firms tend to decentralize away from Hong Kong Island due to cheaper rents. The important finding of the sample survey analysis is that non-traditional factors such as office buildings with IT facilities have emerged as dominant factors determining choice of location. For instance. during the survey period, finance firms considered office buildings with IT facilities as the most important factor, while business service firms considered sufficient floor-space as the second most important factor after rent in choosing the present location.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-118
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Urban Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Cbd
  • Centralization
  • Decentralization
  • Fire sector
  • Hong Kong
  • Location

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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