Two office locations in Hong Kong and two in New York figure among the top 10 business districts with the most expensive prime office spaces, according to an annual report by CBRE Research.
Hong Kong's Central district topped the list with an overall prime occupancy cost of US$303 (S$420) per sq ft (psf) per year, followed by London's West End, where the cost was US$214 psf, and New York Midtown at US$203 psf.
Hong Kong's West Kowloon (US$190 psf) and Beijing's Central Business District (US$183 psf) rounded out the top five spots.
Beijing's Finance Street (US$170.29 psf), Tokyo's Marunouchi/Otemachi (US$161.76 psf), New York's Midtown-South Manhattan (US$156.19 psf), New Delhi's Connaught Place (US$153.89 psf) and Shanghai's Pudong (US$133.82) rounded out the top 10 markets.
Singapore was ranked No. 27 in the top 100 with a cost of US$85.02 psf.
"The global top 10 list reflects the ongoing strength of global gateway cities in attracting and maintaining a successful occupier base," said Mr Richard Barkham, global chief economist at CBRE.
TOP 5 MOST EXPENSIVE BUSINESS DISTRICTS
1. Hong Kong's Central district
2. London's West End
3. New York's Midtown
4. Hong Kong's West Kowloon
5. Beijing's Central Business District
The report also said that global prime office space costs - which reflect rent, plus local taxes and service charges - rose 1.9 per cent year over year, with the Americas up 3.6 per cent, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea) up 0.8 per cent and the Asia-Pacific up 1.2 per cent.
Durban (South Africa) had the highest increase in occupancy cost overall, though Stockholm (Sweden) registered some of the fastest growth in Europe, along with Palma de Mallorca (Spain), Belfast (United Kingdom) and Amsterdam (the Netherlands).
In the Asia-Pacific, Shanghai (Puxi) in China had the highest growth in occupancy cost, followed by Guangzhou, Bangalore and Shanghai (Pudong).
Buenos Aires showed the biggest increase in the Americas overall, while suburban Denver, suburban Houston and New York Midtown South saw the largest occupancy-cost increases in the US.
CBRE tracks occupancy costs for prime office space in 121 markets around the globe. Of the top 50 "most expensive" markets, 21 were in the Asia-Pacific, 16 were in Emea and 13 were in the Americas.