West End Now The Most Expensive Office Location In The World

Build high for happiness! Photo courtesy of M@ Brown

Ever wondered why skyscrapers keep popping up like daisies in the middle of the worst economic crisis in 70 years? Wonder no longer. Property consultancy Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) reckon that, as of last autumn, London was home to the most expensive office property in the world.

The firm’s latest report on the ever exciting global real estate market found that commercial property in the West End was now going for an average of $171 (£111) per square foot. That’s more than 20% higher than the nearest rival Hong Kong ($133), and way out ahead of some of our other competitor cities. In Paris and Tokyo, you’re looking at around $100 per square foot, while offices in midtown Manhattan are a positive steal at $73.

What’s more, just 4.2% of that office space is currently looking lonely and tenant free. In ghost town Los Angeles, by contrast, as much of a fifth of the offices are standing vacant.

These figures only apply to the West End, of course: over in the City and Docklands, vacancy rates are rather higher, at 8%, and rents a slightly less terrifying £55 per square foot. (We’ve been unable to find up to date figures, so these date from last spring, but we’re confident they won’t have doubled in the mean time.)

But the high prices in our central business district, C&W says, explain the growing number of companies setting up shop in more marginal areas like Clerkenwell, Southwark, King’s Cross and Shoreditch. It’s also, we suspect, the main reason why those builders keep on building.

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Jonn

Article by Jonn Elledge | 94 Articles | View Profile

  • James

    “in the mean time.” Really?

    • http://twitter.com/JeKayado JΞSSY

      Time’s a bitch.

  • S P

    Yes meanwhile the UK has one of the largest deficits in the developed world at near 8% of GDP (above Spain, Italy) and is busy producing and exporting very little the world wants, and dozens of police stations and fire stations will close in the next 12 months, along with quite a few hospital A&E department. Still, letting the world’s rich (along with dodgy Chinese industrialists, Russian oligarchs, corrupt African leaders etc etc) set up in London has no downsides :)