Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane rank among the world’s top 10 priciest shopping strips, according to the latest CBRE global retail rents report.
Hong Kong tops the list and ranks as the world’s most expensive retail destination, with rents of US$4,334 per square foot (A$44,380 per square metre) for prime retail, per annum.
Hong Kong’s rent level is more than four times higher than the fifth-placed London - US$988 per square foot – as Central, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui are dominated by luxury brands.
The CBRE report says that prime rents remain high in key gateway markets due to strong flows of international tourists seeking luxury products.
“Hong Kong and other Asia Pacific markets have benefited from international retailers – particularly fast-fashion, cosmetics, jewellery watch, and mid-range fashion retailers – aggressively seeking prime locations across the region,” says global chief economist of CBRE Ray Torto.
“Retail rental growth in the Asia Pacific region is expected to continue to ease as the economy slows, consumers cut back on discretionary spending, and retailers turn more cautious,” he says.
New York is the second priciest shopping destination with rents on fifth avenue increasing 17% quarter-on-quarter.
New York is $2,925 per square foot of prime retail per annum, almost triple that of Tokyo who is in third place at $1,084 per square foot of prime retail.
Sydney is Australia’s most expensive shopping strip, experiencing a slight rise in rents in the 2012 third quarter and coming in fourth on the list at $1,017 per square foot per annum.
The report says that international groups expressed a strong interest in prime CBD locations in Melbourne, where its high streets performed well having been dominated by cafes and restaurants.
Melbourne is sixth on the list, at $850 per square foot per annum, falling short of London at $988 per square foot.
“Given the current economic landscape, retailers are understandably seeking highly trafficked prime locations. Cities with international reputations for luxury shopping are especially in demand,” says Torto.
Zurich is slightly cheaper than Melbourne at $830 and just beating that of Paris’ shopping strips at $828.
Moscow is in ninth place at $739 per square foot per annum and Brisbane is number 10 at $642 per square foot per annum.
“Given the limited supply of prime space throughout these locations, prime rents will remain high in the foreseeable future,” says Torto.