London has been named the second most expensive market in the world for retailers to rent stores.

The world's most expensive cities for retail rent

RankCityPrime rent per sq ft (US$)CountryMost expensive location

1

New York

3,240

United States

Fifth Avenue (56th to 58th Streets)

2

London

1,753

United Kingdom

New Bond Street

3

Hong Kong

1,698

Hong Kong

Russell Street

4

Paris

1,315

France

Avenue des Champs-Élysées

5

Tokyo

1,210

Japan

Chuo Dori

6

Sydney

1,030

Australia

Pitt Street Mall

7

Beijing

1,002

China

Prime shopping centre

8

Zurich

882

Switzerland

Bahnhofstrasse

9

Guangzhou

781

China

Prime shopping centre

10

Singapore

765

Singapore

Prime shopping centre

The capital’s highest rent, recorded on New Bond Street, sets retailers back $1,753 per sq ft (£1,346), according to commercial real estate agency CBRE’s Global Prime Retail Rents report.

But London was comfortably beaten into first place by New York City, which recorded prime rent of $3,240 per sq ft (£2,487) on Fifth Avenue.

Hong Kong took third place with rent on Russell Street hitting $1,698 per sq ft (£1,304) in the first quarter of 2017, the report said.

Despite seeing its retail market suffer amid security fears in the country, French capital Paris took fourth place, while cities including Tokyo, Sydney and Beijing also made the top 10.

Fastest growing rents

Although London missed out on the title of most expensive city for retail rent, the capital emerged as the fastest growing prime retail location in the world.

RankCityIncrease in prime retail rentCountry 
1 London 39.1% United Kingdom
2 St Petersburg 15.4% Russia
3 Auckland 12.5% New Zealand
4 Sofia 12.5% Bulgaria
5 Dublin 10.5% Republic of Ireland
6 Glasgow 9.4% United Kingdom
7 Bratislava 9.1% Slovakia
8 Belfast 8.7% United Kingdom
9 Wellington 8% New Zealand
10 Helsinki 7.8% Finland

Rents per square foot grew 39.1% year-on-year in London during the first quarter of 2017, CBRE said.

Second-placed St Petersburg registered 15.4% rental growth, while Auckland boasted the third-fastest growing retail rents, climbing 12.5%.

Auckland and Wellington were the only two cities outside of Europe to make the top 10, while Glasgow and Belfast meant three UK markets were named in the upper echelons of the list.

Rental growth in European cities was driven by a lack of supply in prime retail areas.

Retailers consequently agreed to pay higher rents in these cities to guarantee brand awareness and support their expansion plans within those regions, CBRE said.

London calling 

Rhodri Davies, head of UK retail at CBRE, said: “London’s overall performance is emblematic of the broad strength we are seeing across the retail market in Europe.

“Demand for quality retail space in London remains robust and the arrival of brands such as New Balance and Nars has further underlined the importance of these prime shopping destinations.

“However, an increase in occupational costs, as a result of business rates revaluation, has meant that retailers are increasingly being more selective about their choice of store location.

“This has resulted in a slowdown in the past six months of retailers transactions in London’s prime retail streets.”