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Real Estate

Hong Kong tops global office rent rankings for 3rd year

Beijing soars to No.3 on demand from financial services

Office buildings tower above Hong Kong's Central district.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Hong Kong's Central business district has the world's highest office rents for the third straight year, according to real estate services firm CBRE's annual survey, with parts of Beijing and Tokyo also cracking the top 10.

Office rents in the Central district reached $306.57 per sq. ft., rising 1.3% from last year, thanks to demand from mainland financial institutions, CBRE said. Beijing's Financial Street district climbed 18% to reach third place, at $200.91 per sq. ft. The area jumped three spots on demand from financial services companies and shared-office operators.

Although Tokyo's Otamachi-Marunouchi business district increased 6% to $171.49 per sq. ft., it fell one spot to eighth. Demand is tightening, but the prospect of new construction and a weakening yen kept dollar rents nearly flat.

New York's Midtown South rose to seventh place from eighth a year earlier, as the need for office space raises costs to record levels at $171.56. London ranked second at $235.01 per sq. ft.

Office rents grew 2.4% worldwide since the last survey, and CBRE expects another increase of about 2% over the the next year.

The survey looked at rents, including such expenses as taxes and common-area charges, of the most expensive office buildings in 120 districts worldwide as of the end of March.

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