Hong Kong's Causeway Bay world's priciest retail area: survey

NEW YORK Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:31am IST

Shoppers walk at Hong Kong's Causeway Bay shopping district January 14, 2011. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Shoppers walk at Hong Kong's Causeway Bay shopping district January 14, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Bobby Yip

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York's Fifth Avenue ended its 11-year run as the world's most expensive retail area, dethroned by Hong Kong's Causeway Bay, according to a survey by real estate services company Cushman & Wakefield.

The average retail real estate rent in the Causeway Bay shopping area surged 34.9 percent from a year earlier to an annual $2,630 per square foot, Cushman & Wakefield said in its report released on Tuesday.

Manhattan's Fifth Avenue came in second with average retail rent at $2,500 per square foot, up 11.1 percent, according to the review of 326 prime locations in 62 countries.

Paris's Avenue des Champs-Elysees, where the average rent rose 30 percent to $1,129 per square foot (9,573 euros per square meter) jumped two places to third place, leaving Tokyo's Ginza district in fourth place with average annual rent at $1,057 per square foot.

Luxury retailers are competing for the most coveted shopping destinations, pushing up rents, despite recent slower sales growth, Cushman & Wakefield said.

Five of the 10 most expensive global retail locations were in the Asia-Pacific region.

Within the Americas, the United States dominated the top 10 most expensive retail locations. Times Square made the survey for the first time, grabbing second place behind Fifth Avenue with rental growth of 55.6 percent. Madison Avenue and East 57th Street shared the third spot within the Americas.

In Brazil, rents surged 64.7 percent in the highly sought after area of Garcia D'avila (Ipanema) in Rio de Janeiro.

In Europe, Cushman & Wakefield said rents were strong in prime retail locations, even as secondary locations struggled with weak consumer sentiment.

Following Paris's Avenue des Champs-Elysees, London's New Bond Street was the second most expensive shopping area in Europe with rents up 3.1 percent to $936 per square foot. Switzerland's Bahnhofstrasse was third with rents up 8.7 percent to $854 per square foot.

(Reporting By Ilaina Jonas; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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