Hong Kong property

Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay remains second-most expensive retail district on the planet, behind only New York’s Fifth Avenue

Causeway Bay commands an annual per sq ft rent of US$2,725, below the US$3,000 level for New York’s Fifth Avenue, according to a new report

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 November, 2017, 7:33am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 November, 2017, 11:00pm

Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay has retained its title as the world’s second most expensive retail location, despite a decline in rents this year, according to a new report that tracks the most expensive shopping streets in the world.

With an annual per square foot rent of US$2,725, Causeway Bay trailed New York’s Upper Fifth Avenue, which retained its crown as the most expensive globally at an annual per sq ft rent of US$3,000, said Cushman & Wakefield in its annual Main Streets Across The World report.

London’s New Bond Street jumped one notch up to third place in the global rankings this year as rents increased by more than a third on year to US$1,720 per sq ft. It was the world’s fourth most expensive street last year.

The report tracks 451 retail streets in 68 countries and regions by rents.

“Despite the drop in rents during the course of 2017, the pace of drop in Causeway Bay rents has slowed since the middle of this year, and the correction is expected to finish towards year-end,” said Kevin Lam, Cushman & Wakefield’s head of retail services for Hong Kong.

“Rents in Causeway Bay will be in a better position next year, although there will still be some distance between the rents of Causeway Bay and of Upper Fifth Avenue in New York.”

Despite the drop in rents during the course of 2017, the pace of drop in Causeway Bay rents has slowed since the middle of this year ...
Kevin Lam, Cushman and Wakefield

The 4.7 per cent rental decline on year in Causeway Bay is seen as a “healthy correction”, which has led to a greater diversification and mix of retailers on the high street.

Apart from the luxury brands that have been dominant in Causeway Bay, there are now more lifestyle retailers, food and beverage and mainland Chinese brands entering the district, offering shoppers a wider range of options.

“As the case of duplex and triplex leasing becomes rarer, we expect the number of varieties of shops to increase,” Lam added.

In mainland China, Beijing’s Wangfujing district is ranked the 11th most expensive in the global table, with annual rent of US$477 per sq ft.

The mainland retail market has continued to evolve with a rapidly growing base of consumers who are savvy shoppers with greater brand awareness, and seek out new and sophisticated retail experiences.

“The most innovative retailers are combining their online and physical platforms to create a seamless omnichannel experience for the customer, but profile and location play such a crucial role in the premium retail experience,” said Darren Yates, head of EMEA retail research at Cushman & Wakefield.