London, H.K., Rio priciest for offices

AFP-JIJI

London has overtaken Hong Kong to take the title of world’s most expensive office market, followed by a surprise, fast-rising Rio de Janeiro, a survey released Tuesday found.

Relatively scarce quality space in London has fueled competition and driven up office rents, particularly in the West End, said the report from Cushman & Wakefield, the world’s largest private real estate services firm.

“As a truly global city, London’s appeal continues unabated. In conjunction with a scarcity of good quality stock, prime rents have increased over the year,” said Digby Flower, head of London Markets. “Equally importantly, we expect rents to grow further as we get into recovery mode.”

Hong Kong’s central business district slipped to second place, while the Zona Sul area of Rio de Janeiro leaped from eighth place to third on the back of a jaw-dropping 43 percent rental increase from 2011, it said.

The Americas region saw the highest rental growth over the year as prime rents moved up by 10 percent.