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S’pore world’s 7th most expensive office location

Prime office rents rose 78% last year to US$130.48 psf per annum: report

SINGAPORE has jumped 10 places to become the world’s seventh-most expensive office location.

According to Cushman & Wakefield’s (C&W) report on office occupancy costs, prime office rents rose 78 per cent in Singapore last year. Occupancy costs are now at US$130.48 psf per annum, up from US$954 psf per annum in 2006.

Rental increases here were the fifth highest globally last year, after locations in Turkey and Norway. However, Singapore still ranks below London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Mumbai, Moscow and Paris in terms of occupancy costs.

London remains on the top of the list, with occupancy costs rising 30 per cent to US$312 psf per annum followed by Hong Kong, with an increase in occupancy costs of 40 per cent to US$238.58 psf per annum.

Paris, which was put in sixth place, registered occupational costs of US$141.57 psf per annum.

C&W executive managing director (South-east Asia) Arsh Chaudhury said that rental growth in Singapore was led by strong demand from the banking and services sectors coupled with limited supply of quality office space.

He said: ‘Whilst the effect of a US slowdown on Asia will be muted, the uncertainty of growth plans of US institutions, especially banks, may possibly result in an easing of demand.’

But he said that C&W expects the upward trend in rents to continue, albeit at a slower pace.

The C&W report compares office occupancy costs in 203 locations in 58 countries. New entries include Kyiv in Ukraine at 16th place with occupancy costs at US$78.22 psf per annum, and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam at 17th place with occupancy costs at $75.81 psf per annum.

Of these 203 locations, 79 per cent registered rental growth, 20 per cent showed stable growth and only one per cent experienced a fall in rentals compared to 6 per cent in 2006.

Perhaps also interesting to note is that of the bottom 10 locations in C&W’s list of 58 countries, neighbouring South-east Asian cities took up four spots.

Bangkok took the 58th position, with office occupancy costs at US$26.52 psf per annum, preceded by Jakarta, at 57th position with occupancy costs at US$26.54 psf per annum, Manila in 50th place with occupancy costs at US $33.75, and Kuala Lumpur 49th, with occupancy costs at US$34.39 psf per annum.

Source: Business Times 14 Feb 08

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