Here are the places you might want to go — or to steer clear of, if your business needs to economise. In the rarified air of premier business locations, these are the places where the money goes, according to a newly-published report from property consultants Cushman & Wakefield.
1. Hong Kong
Always a kingpin in the worldwide business scene, Hong Kong’s bustling Central District is the most expensive place on the globe to maintain a business presence, with an average occupancy cost of $244US (£152UK) per square foot per year. The Asia-Pacific region as a whole saw an increase of 8% in office rents in 2011.
2. London’s West End
Average costs for office rentals in the Big Smoke’s trendiest sector went up 8% to $239US (£149UK) per square foot per year. Once the world leader in expensive office space — it saw a rise of a spectacular 31% in 2010 — it is still a major player in world markets. Most analysts expect sumptuous new office space in the ultra-chic Mayfair and St. James areas to drive prices higher this year.
Tokyo is home to some of the most famous businesses in the world; Sony, Honda, and Nintendo all reside amongst the bustling streets. As you might expect, the place isn’t cheap. Office rentals went up 7% to an average of $197 US (£123 UK) in the Japanese capital last year.
Russia’s financial hub was the biggest riser in Europe, climbing an amazing 41% to $148US (£92 UK) per square foot per year.
The vast Chinese capital also saw a big rise in office rentals over the past year, as did the country’s other giant, Shanghai. Analysts point to low vacancy rates — around 5% in both cities — and expect rental prices to just keep on rising, probably in double digits.
6. New York
Occupancy costs in the Big Apple average $120 US, or £63 UK per square foot per year.
Other players in this high-stakes, international game are the Indian giants, Mumbai and New Delhi, and San Francisco, where an invigorated U. S. tech sector drove rents up by 24% last year.
Worldwide, office space saw a rental increase of 3% last year, which was up from the 1% global increase of 2010.