Hong Kong has surpassed London’s West End as the world’s most expensive office market, according to new research from Cushman & Wakefield.
The annual “Office Space Across the World” report surveys occupancy costs across 215 office markets in 58 countries worldwide. Using proprietary data, it ranks occupancy costs per workstation as well as workplace densities for newly developed or refurbished office space globally. Fairfield County, Connecticut; San Francisco; New York City; and Silicon Valley placed fourth through seventh among the most expensive office locations. Third was Tokyo.
At a global level, the average annual cost per workstation rose by 1.5 percent over the past 12 months. This was driven by the Americas, where costs increased by 4.2 percent, and the Asia Pacific region, where they rose by 3.4 percent. Europe, Middle East, and Africa posted a decline of 1.3 percent. Currency fluctuations have produced some of the biggest changes in the rankings, according to the report. For companies looking at their local costs, this factor will influence them more than property markets over the next year, it said.
Limited availability and strong demand from Mainland Chinese corporations have pushed Hong Kong costs up 5.5 percent to $27,431 from a year earlier. Escalating rents are driving a growing number of multinational corporations to decentralize to lower-cost areas. As a comparison, for the same cost of accommodating 100 employees in a Hong Kong office, 300 can be accommodated in Toronto, 500 in Madrid, and 900 in Mumbai.
In contrast, costs in London have fallen 19 percent since 2016 – largely as a result of currency depreciation – to an average of $22,665 per workstation per year. Paris, also in the top ten, albeit with costs at nearly half those in London, saw costs fall, too.