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Hong Kong has second most expensive street in the world

Causeway Bay puts Hong Kong at second, while New York's Fifth Avenue takes first place

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 November, 2016, 2:54pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 November, 2016, 5:51pm

Shops along New York’s Upper 5th Avenue are paying the world’s highest rents, according to one global real estate firm.

The likes of Cartier, Abercrombie & Fitch and Apple have flagship stores dotting the 5th avenue stretch between 49th to 60th Street, and are footing rental costs of US$3,000 per square feet annually, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s “Main Streets Across The World” report.

The annual report analysed 462 top shopping streets in the world and ranked the most expensive locations in each country by their prime rental value.

After New York, Hong Kong had the second most expensive shopping location in the world despite a drop in rents in the past 12 months, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s findings.

Retailers in Causeway Bay, who are already hurting from a slowdown in Chinese tourist traffic and spend, are forking out US$2,878 per square foot in rents annually.

Paris’ Avenue des Champs Elysees was the third most expensive location globally, and the costliest retail space in the EMEA region, with an average annual rent of US$1,368 per square foot.

The demand for retail space on the famous French boulevard has remained resilient, as seen from the presence of new retailers like Skagen and fast-food chain Five Guys, the report said.

New Bond Street in London had the fourth highest rents globally at US$1,321/square foot, as footfall figures remained healthy and retailers were willing to pay a premium to secure the sites, Cushman & Wakefield said.

Moreover, the sterling devaluation linked to Brexit actually resulted in an increase in retail sales in Central London from overseas tourists, according to findings.

The global ranking report also found that the most affordable retail locations in EMEA was in Kaunas, Lithuania, which costs US$17.96 per square feet annually, while Raj Bhavan/Somajiguda in Hyderabad, India was the most affordable in the Asia Pacific region at US$16/square feet. In North America, rental costs in Ottawa’s Wellington Street, Canada, were the most inexpensive at US$30.80 per square feet.

The current retail environment is immensely competitive, which has seen retailers taking a more cautious approach when it comes to real estate decisions, while at the same time adapting to consumers’ demands for multi-channel shopping, the report said.

“Retailers are facing technological advances head on, with more and more brands opting to offer online sales alongside a physical presence, and not instead of,” Justin Taylor, EMEA head of retail, at Cushman & Wakefield, said in the report.

“Demand is strong but for the right space in the right location,” he added.

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