London West End office rents 'most expensive' in the world

Central London has kept its status as the world's costliest office market.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 19 Jun 2014

London’s West End is once again the most expensive place in the world to rent office space, a survey by global property firm CBRE suggests.

The capital’s submarket outstripped Hong Kong’s central business district for the second time in a year as total occupancy costs — including rents, business rates and service charges —reached £163 per square foot.

Hong Kong costs £142 per square foot, and Beijing’s Financial Street comes in third at £114 per square foot.

‘A shortage of space combined with rising demand has pushed rents higher in London’s West End,’ CBRE director Phillip Howells said. ‘The market has accelerated significantly over the last 18 months, with leasing activity improving in the core West End market of Mayfair & St James’s in particular.’

The West End of London, which includes the Mayfair and St James areas, is home to many technology, media, advertising and hedge fund companies.

CBRE, which publishes its survey every six months, tracks occupancy costs for prime office space in 126 markets worldwide.  

Of the top 50 ‘most expensive’ markets, 21 were in EMEA, 20 were in Asia Pacific and 9 were in the Americas.

The City of London also makes the top 10, with office space costing around £90 per square foot.

Top 20 expensive locations:

Rank

Market

Cost

1

London West End, UK

£163

2

Hong Kong (Central), Hong Kong

£142

3

Beijing (Finance Street), China

£114

4

Beijing (CBD), China

£110

5

Moscow, Russia

£97

6

Hong Kong (West Kowloon), Hong Kong

£95

7

London City, UK

£90.20

8

New Delhi (Connaught Place - CBD), India

£90

9

Tokyo (Marunouchi Otemachi), Japan

£85

10

Paris, France

£73

11

New York (Midtown Manhattan), US

£71

12

Shanghai (Pudong), China

£69

13

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

£65

14

Shanghai (Puxi), China

£64.60

15

San Francisco (Downtown), US

£63

16

Mumbai (Bandra Kurla Complex), India

£62.61

17

Sydney, Australia

£62.46

18

Singapore, Singapore

£61.67

19

Geneva, Switzerland

£61.17

20

Seoul (CBD), South Korea

£60

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

When spying on your staff backfires

As Barclays' recently-scrapped tracking software shows, snooping on your colleagues is never a good idea....

A CEO’s guide to smart decision-making

You spend enough time doing it, but have you ever thought about how you do...

What Tinder can teach you about recruitment

How to make sure top talent swipes right on your business.

An Orwellian nightmare for mice: Pest control in the digital age

Case study: Rentokil’s smart mouse traps use real-time surveillance, transforming the company’s service offer.

Public failure can be the best thing that happens to you

But too often businesses stigmatise it.

Andrew Strauss: Leadership lessons from an international cricket captain

"It's more important to make the decision right than make the right decision."