Commercial Real Estate

The most expensive cities to rent an office

Luke Graham, special to CNBC

Office space in London's West End has topped a survey of the world's most expensive rental costs, with each square foot costing $267 a year to rent.

Markets around Asia, including Hong Kong's central district, Beijing's Finance Street and the Central Business District and New Delhi's Connaught Place, rounded out the top five places in the annual Global Prime Office Occupancy Costs survey from CBRE, the commercial real estate services provider.

A view over the financial district and St Paul's Cathedral towards the west of the city at sunrise in London.
Getty Images

The survey, which tracks prime real estate prices in 127 office markets, shows that global rental costs grew by 2 percent year-on-year, indicating slow but steady progress in the office sector.

"Occupier caution has declined and corporate confidence has been on the rise and this confidence is starting to translate into a degree of expansionary momentum," said Richard Barkham, CBRE's global chief economist, in a press release.

"At the same time, many office markets are increasingly short of the quality, modern, flexible and highly accessible or CBD-located office buildings which corporations are seeking to execute workplace strategies that will drive productivity and attract or retain talent."

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Office prices grew fastest in Dublin, Ireland. Costs rose 26.1 per cent to $64.79 per square foot, placing it 43rd.

The largest fall in prices occurred in Moscow, which dropped from 5th place last year to 9th place. Prices declined 22.4 percent to $128.10 per square foot.

Most expensive office markets (USD per square foot, per year)

1.London (West End) $267.14

2.Hong Kong (Central) $254.23

3.Beijing (Finance Street) $195.82

4.Beijing (Central Business District) $187.54

5.New Delhi (Connaught Place) $156.96

6.Hong Kong (West Kowloon) $150.26

7.Tokyo (Marunouchi Otemachi) $142.78

8.London (City) $142.72

9.Moscow $128.10

10.New York (Midtown Manhatten) $127.00

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