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Report: Upper Fifth Avenue the most expensive retail street in the world

New York’s Upper Fifth Avenue is the most expensive retail street in the world with rents rising to $3,500 psf in 2015.

That’s nearly 50 percent more expensive than second place Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, according to a global research report from Cushman & Wakefield.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Main Streets Across the World report tracks over 500 of the top retail streets around the globe, ranking them by their prime rental value utilizing Cushman & Wakefield’s proprietary data.

The 27th edition of the report shows that rents have risen in 35 percent of streets around the world – despite the increased global uncertainty experienced over the past 12 months. The report also includes a ranking of the 65 most expensive streets — the top one per country.

Once again, New York’s Fifth Avenue retained its position as the most expensive global retail location. By the second quarter of 2015, rents reached $3,500 psf, an increase of 3.6 percent year over year and 46 percent above the second-placed Causeway Bay in Hong Kong ($2,399 psf per year).

Regionally, the United States represents seven of the Top 10 most expensive cities in the Americas, with Toronto, Rio de Janeiro and Vancouver at sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively. Seattle posted the highest rent growth in the U.S., up 27.3 percent to $70 psf, while Los Angeles’ Rodeo Drive corridor posted the highest retail rents outside New York at $800 psf, a 23 percent increase.

Strong tourism and a vibrant local economy make San Francisco’s Union Square a market to watch with its 1.1 percent vacancy, $650 psf rents and 13 percent rent growth, which follows 21 percent rent growth for the same period through mid-2014. Similarly, Chicago’s Michigan Avenue posted 8.2 percent rent growth with average retail rents of $525 psf.

At $320 psf, Toronto’s Bloor Street retail corridor was the most expensive high street in Canada, while Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue was the most affordable in the Americas at $45 psf.

Gene Spiegelman, vice chairman, Head of Retail Services, North America at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “The Americas region is expected to sustain a positive trajectory going forward into 2016, bolstered by a steady consumer sector benefiting from a material reduction in energy costs and stable employment expectations, especially in the U.S.

“Retailers will continue to add physical stores to support their expansion plans while at the same time optimizing their footprint to respond to the ongoing evolution of ‘clicks and bricks.’ International luxury brands will continue to dominate the high street, providing a boost to the key destination cities with high exposure from tourism and strong foot traffic.”

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