Fifth Avenue remains world’s most expensive retail destination

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
fifth avenue
Rents on the upper part of Fifth Ave. average $2,000 per sq. ft.

Ten blocks in Manhattan rank as the most expensive retail venue rent-wise in the world. 

Fifth Avenue (from 49th to 60th Sts.) retains its top ranking as the world’s most expensive retail destination, at $2,000 per sq. ft., according to Cushman & Wakefield’s 2023 “Main Streets Across the World” report, which examines retail rents in prime locations in cities around the world. Although Fifth Avenue rents were flat compared to last year, the rents are up 14% over pre-pandemic levels.

Milan’s Via Montenapoleone ranked second, with its rents rising 20% year-over-year to $1,766 per sq. ft. Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui placed third, at $1,493 per sq. ft.

New Bond Street in London, at $1,462 per sq.ft., and the Avenues des Champs-Élysées in Paris, at $1,120 per sq. ft. retained fourth and fifth positions, respectively.

Looking at the rankings by regions, the U.S. took the top 15 spots in the 30 most expensive destinations in the Americas: 

  1. New York City, Upper 5th Ave. (49th to 60th Sts.): $2,000 per sq. ft.
  2. New York City, Madison Ave. (57th to 72nd Sts.): $1,250 per sq. ft.
  3.  Los Angeles, Rodeo Drive (Beverly Hills): $925 per sq. ft.
  4. New York Ciy, SoHo (Broadway to West Broadway; Houston to Canal Sts.): $860 per sq. ft.
  5. Honolulu, Kalakua Ave.: $500 per sq. ft.
  6. San Francisco, Union Square:  $495 per sq. ft.
  7. Las Vegas, Las Vegas Blvd.: $437 per sq. ft.
  8. Chicago, Oak Street: $432 per sq. ft.
  9. Boston, Newbury St.: $400 per sq. ft.
  10. Chicago, North Michigan Ave.: $315 per sq. ft.
  11. Miami, Design District: $300 per sq. ft.
  12. Austin, South Congress (SoCo): $215 per sq. ft.
  13. Palm Beach, Fla., Worth Ave.: $200 per sq. ft.
  14. Miami, Lincoln Road: $200 per sq. ft.
  15. Houston, River Oaks District: $200 per sq. ft.

(Toronto’s Bloor Street came in 16th, at $185 per sq. ft.)

Other findings from the report are below.

•Rents across global prime retail destinations continued their ongoing recovery, increasing on average 4.8% in local currency terms over the past year. 

•The strongest growth was recorded in Asia Pacific, which averaged 5.9%, with Europe at 4.2% and the Americas at 5.2%.

•The biggest mover in the 2023 report was Istiklal Street in Istanbul, up from 31st to 20th position, as rampant inflation caused rents to more than double over the past year.

•Almost 60% of markets globally remain below pre-pandemic rental levels. This is most evident in Europe where 70% of markets are below pre-pandemic rents. In contrast, in the U.S., only 31% are below pre-pandemic levels; 69% are above, according to the report.

“The retail sector has continued to face issues head on while demonstrating its resiliency,” said Barrie Scardina, head of Americas Retail, Cushman & Wakefield. “The near-term outlook for the retail sector remains cautious, but at the same time is nuanced between sub-sectors and geographical locations." 

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