LONDON REMAINS WORLD’S MOST EXPENSIVE OFFICE MARKET
Three of Five Priciest Markets are in Asia
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Five of 10 Fastest Growing Occupancy Cost Markets are in U.S.
Warsaw, Poland ranked #60
Los Angeles / Warsaw — June 26, 2014 — London’s West End remained the world’s highest-priced office market, but Asia continued to dominate the world’s most expensive office locations, accounting for three of the top five markets, according to CBRE Global Research and Consulting’s semi-annual Global Prime Office Occupancy Costs survey. The study also found that rents are rising fastest in the Americas, where real estate fundamentals continue to improve significantly. Overall, the U.S. accounted for five of the 10 markets with the fastest growing occupancy costs. These markets were Seattle (Suburban), San Francisco (Downtown), San Francisco (Peninsula), Houston (Suburban) and Houston (Downtown).
London West End’s overall occupancy costs of US$277 per sq. ft. per year topped the “most expensive” list. Hong Kong (Central) followed with total occupancy costs of US$242 per sq. ft. Beijing (Finance Street) (US$194 per sq. ft.), Beijing (Central Business District (CBD)) (US$187 per sq. ft.) and Moscow (US$165 per sq. ft.) rounded out the top five.
Phillip Howells, Executive Director, Central London, at CBRE said:
“Economic improvements have continued to trigger strong demand for space in the capital. As a result, the market has accelerated significantly over the last 18 months, with leasing activity improving in the core West End market of Mayfair & St James’s in particular. This is evident at the top end of the market with specialised financial occupiers particularly active and rents being achieved significantly in excess of £100.00 per sq ft.
“A shortage of space combined with rising demand has pushed rents higher in London’s West End. With prime space leasing at a premium in this market, and the continuation of steady demand for offices, we anticipate stronger rental growth during the remainder of the year.”
Global prime office occupancy costs rose 2.3% year-over-year, led by the Americas (up 3.3%) and Asia Pacific (up 2.9%). Meanwhile, EMEA was essentially flat, edging down 0.1% year-over-year. The regional results are consistent with recent economic trends, in that the American economy has been stronger than EMEA’s over the past year. While Asia Pacific exhibited the highest economic growth of the three regions, it also has a large pipeline of office projects, which is beginning to put downward pressure on costs in key markets.
“We believe that occupancy costs are poised to accelerate in the latter part of 2014. Even though occupiers remain cost conscious, demand for prime office space is continuing to increase,” said Dr. Raymond Torto, Global Chairman, CBRE Research. “With the exception of a few markets, mostly in Asia Pacific, there is not a sufficient volume of new construction to meet demand. As such, market rents for prime properties are expected to continue rising, which, coupled with the higher cost of operating office buildings, will push up occupancy costs in most markets in the coming months.”
CBRE tracks occupancy costs for prime office space in 126 markets around the globe. Of the top 50 “most expensive” markets, 21 were in EMEA, 20 were in Asia Pacific and 9 were in the Americas.
Occupancy cost comparisons in U.S. dollars are affected by currency exchange rates. However, the annual percent change in occupancy costs are in local currency and are not influenced by currency changes (except Jakarta, Indonesia where leases are typically written in U.S. dollars, but paid in rupiah, which means the occupancy cost increase is greatly affected by the currency depreciation in Indonesia).