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The priciest retail corridor in the world — by a long shot


When it comes to retail rents, Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue is really in a class by itself.

Upper Fifth Avenue, between 49th and 60th streets, is the most expensive retail corridor in the world, with rents rising 3.6% to $3,500 per square foot through the first half of this year, according to an annual report from Cushman & Wakefield. (The top 10 streets are listed at end of article.)

Fifth Avenue rent was nearly double that of the second priciest corridor, Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, at $2,399 per square foot.

The 27th edition of the report, Main Streets Across the World, tracks over 500 of the top retail streets around the globe, ranking them by their prime rental value utilizing Cushman & Wakefield's proprietary data. The study shows that rents have risen in 35% of streets around the world – despite the increased global uncertainty experienced over the past 12 months. The report also includes a ranking of the 65 most expensive streets – the top one per country.

United States: The report shows that retail rents are rising in many U.S. cities. Seattle posted the highest rent growth in the U.S., up 27.3% to $70 per square foot, while Los Angeles' Rodeo Drive corridor posted the highest retail rents outside New York at $800 per square foot, a 23% increase.

Strong tourism and a vibrant local economy make San Francisco's Union Square a market to watch with its 1.1% vacancy, $650 per square foot rents and 13% rent growth, which follows 21% rent growth for the same period through mid-2014.

Similarly, Chicago's Michigan Avenue posted 8.2% rent growth with average retail rents of $525 per square foot.

The Americas region is expected to sustain a positive trajectory going forward into 2016, bolstered by a steady consumer sector benefiting from a material reduction in energy costs and stable employment expectations, especially in the U.S.,” said Gene Spiegelman, vice chairman, head of retail services, North America at Cushman & Wakefield. “Retailers will continue to add physical stores to support their expansion plans while at the same time optimizing their footprint to respond to the ongoing evolution of 'clicks and bricks.’ “

Here are the top 10 most expensive retail streets in the world:

• Fifth Avenue (New York) - US$3,500/sq. ft./year

• Causeway Bay (Hong Kong) - US$2,399/ sq. ft./year

• Avenue des Champs Élysées (Paris) - US$1,372/sq. ft./year

• New Bond Street (London) - US$1,321/sq. ft./year

• Via Montenapoleone (Milan) - US$1,035/sq. ft./year

• Bahnhofstrasse (Zurich) - US$894.6/sq. ft./year

• The Ginza (Tokyo) - US$881.9/sq. ft./year

• Myeongdong (Seoul) - US$881.8/sq. ft./year

• Kohlmarket (Vienna) - US$478.2/sq. ft./year

• Kaufinger / Neuhauser (Munich) - US$459.6/sq. ft./year

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