NEW YORK - There's expensive and then there's Hong Kong.
The Asian shopping haven in the first quarter kept its crown as having the world's highest rent for prime retail properties, at nearly 50 per cent more than for similar districts such as upper Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Rents were more than four times the rate in similar areas in London and Paris, according to a report by global property advisor CBRE Group Inc.
The 10 most expensive cities for retailers benefit from strong demand and modest new supply, a recipe for stable record-high prime rental rates, the report released on Sunday showed. In some markets, such as Hong Kong and London, the sky-high rents have prompted some newcomers to look nearby. For example, in London, Mayfair has benefited from those priced out of Bond Street.
Annual retail rent in high-end shopping areas in Hong Kong averaged US$4,328 per square foot (S$5,365 per square meter). "Given that space is so expensive in Hong Kong's prime shopping streets largely driven by continued demand from international luxury brands, many traditional retailers have moved into more niche secondary retail locations as they still want to be in and access the market, but have been priced out of the prime space," Joe Lin, CBRE's executive director of retail, said in a statement.
New York ranked second among the most expensive global retail markets, with prime rents averaging US$2,970 per square foot (S$3,682 per square meter)
Europe's prime retail markets followed, with London at US$1,053 per square foot, and Paris at US$1,050 per square foot.
The supply of prime space was tight elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region. An inflow of US retailers helped Sydney maintain its prime rent at an average of US$1,018 per square foot.
Tokyo was sixth at US$895 per square foot, followed by Melbourne, at US$851 per square foot. Zurich came in eighth at US$822 per square foot.. Brisbane's mining and natural resource sectors, and growing population helped push that into the top 10 with its prime retail rents up 15 per cent to US$739 per square foot. Moscow rounded out the top 10 with rents at US$739 per square foot.