Central Hong Kong and London’s West End topped the latest list of prime office occupancy costs, according to CBRE Research’s latest annual Global Prime Office Occupancy Costs report.

Central Hong Kong’s overall prime occupancy costs of US$303 per square foot ($3,261 per square meter) per year topped the most expensive list as of March 2017, followed by London’s West End at US$214 per square foot ($2,303 per square meter), Midtown New York at US$203 ($2,185 per square meter) , Hong Kong (West Kowloon) at US$190 ($2,045 per sq m), and Beijing’s central business district at US$183 ($1,970 per sq m).

“The global top ten list reflects the ongoing strength of global gateway cities in attracting and maintaining a successful occupier base,” said Richard Barkham, global chief economist at CBRE, in a press release.

Global prime office occupancy costs—which reflect rent, plus local taxes and service charges for the highest-quality, prime office properties—rose 1.9 percent year-over-year, with the Americas up 3.6 percent, Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) up 0.8 percent, and the Asia Pacific region up 1.2 percent.

Durban, South Africa, had the highest increase in occupancy cost overall, though Stockholm registered some of the fastest growth in Europe, along with Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Belfast; and Amsterdam. In the Asia Pacific region, Shanghai (Puxi) had the highest growth in occupancy cost, followed by Guangzhou, Bangalore, and Shanghai (Pudong). Buenos Aires showed the biggest increase in the Americas overall, while suburban Denver, suburban Houston, and New York Midtown South saw the increases in the United States.

CBRE tracks occupancy costs for prime office space in 121 markets around the globe. Of the top 50 most expensive markets, 21 were in the Asia Pacific region, 16 were in EMEA, and 13 were in the Americas.

Top 10 Most Expensive Markets
(US$ per square foot per year)

Rank Market Occupancy cost
1 Hong Kong (Central) 302.51
2 London (West End) 213.85
3 New York City (Midtown Manhattan) 202.79
4 Hong Kong (West Kowloon) 190.02
5 Beijing (CBD) 183.10
6 Beijing (Finance Street) 170.29
7 Tokyo (Marunouchi/Otemachi) 161.76
8 New York (Midtown–south Manhattan) 156.19
9 New Delhi (Connaught Place–CBD) 153.89
10 Shanghai (Pudong)


Largest Annual Changes Occupancy Costs
(in local currency and measure)

Top 5 Increases
Rank Market Percent
1 Durban, South Africa 21.2
2 Buenos Aires, Argentina 20.0
3 Stockholm, Sweden 18.8
4 Denver (suburban), U.S. 17.2
5 Palma de Mallorca, Spain 16.5