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World’s most expensive office rentals in London, Mumbai

Singapore rents grew the fastest at 83%, says survey by CB Richard Ellis

(SEATTLE) London and Mumbai tenants paid the most for high-quality offices this year, while Singapore rents grew the fastest as economic growth lured international banks to Asia, said CB Richard Ellis Group Inc, the world’s largest commercial real estate broker.

London’s West End led with average annual rents of US$328.91 per square foot (psf) this month, compared with US$180.80 for the UK capital’s main financial district.

Mumbai had the second-most expensive leases at US$189.51, CB Richard Ellis said in its semi-annual Global Market Rents survey.

Asia’s booming economies drove up demand for financial and computing services in the region, catapulting Mumbai to second spot and fuelling Singapore’s 83 per cent growth in rents.

The US currency’s decline also drove up costs in dollar terms, while a dearth of new space bolstered London rents, CB Richard Ellis said.

‘Markets that moved up that quickly had the highest growth rates based on the economy’ as well as a scarcity of space, said Ray Wong, director of research operations for the Americas for Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis.

‘In the most expensive markets, if they’re close to their peak, the expectation for increase is marginal, but other markets, especially resource sectors, are enjoying an increase in demand so they’re going to move up a lot quicker.’

Mumbai’s rents rose 55 per cent, driven by computer related tenants, according to CB Richard Ellis.

Midtown Manhattan was the most expensive North American market, with rents averaging US$100.79 psf, 12th highest worldwide. Downtown New York ranked 46th globally at US$53.47.

Moscow rents jumped 65 per cent after crude oil prices tripled in the past five years, bolstering the economy of the world’s second-biggest exporter of the fuel.

Rents in the oil hub of Edmonton, Canada, rose 43 per cent, the ninth- fastest worldwide, as energy companies leased more space to house expanding workforces, the survey showed. Edmonton did not rank in the top 50 markets by rental prices.

Eighty-five per cent of the 171 cities included in the survey saw rental increases in the year ended Sept 30, according to CB Richard Ellis. This bodes well for investment returns, Mr Wong said.

The survey measures the most expensive rents based on US dollars. Rental growth rates were measured in local currency terms.


Source: Bloomberg (Business Times 22 Nov 07)

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