Has the World Passed Us By? London Claims Priciest Offices Again As Midtown Falls From Top 25

The ranking of the five most expensive markets for office space—London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Mumbai and Moscow—remained unchanged over the last year, according to CB Richard Ellis’ semi-annual survey. Office occupancy costs are down 1.3 percent year-over-year in the 175 biggest markets.

The most expensive office market in the world remain’s London’s West End, where occupancy costs averaged $193.69 per square foot, compared with $66.59 per square foot in midtown Manhattan. The Post‘s Steve Cuozzo issued a reminder earlier this week that the Brits are still very much in charge when it comes to retail space, too, despite good news for the city’s landlords this week: asking rents in Times Square are up.

Worldwide the office market is beggining to find its low point as only 19 of the 175 biggest office markets saw double-digit declines in costs in the last year. Ninety-nine markets saw declines overall. Occupancy costs in 15 markets stayed the same.

For the last year, the top 10 most expensive places to take out office space were: London West End, Hong Kong (Central CBD), Tokyo (Inner Central), Mumbai, Moscow, Tokyo (Outer Central), London City, Paris Ile-de-France, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Perhaps the real news, though, is that midtown has finally stopped sliding down the rankings. In May it fell to 26–out of the top 25!–where it remains today. Before that, it was ranked 24th, according to last December’s CBRE ranking, 21st in June of 2009, 15th in the second half of 2008 (just barely post-Lehman), and 13th six months before that. In 2007 we were in 12th place. Keep in mind this was back in the heady days of $100-per-square-foot-plus rents, when London was pushing the $300 threshold.

Still, the Brits have held their place at the top of the market throughout the downturn while New York has stumbled, mightily. Dubai is now in 12th place, despite that whole near-apocalypse thing.

zturner@observer.com Has the World Passed Us By? London Claims Priciest Offices Again As Midtown Falls From Top 25