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Hong Kong is the most expensive office rental market; Beijing and Shanghai make their mark

New report from JLL ranks most expensive office rental markets

Shanghai, February 25, 2016 – Hong Kong has the world’s costliest office space, according to a new report by property consultancy JLL, beating London to the top spot in the first edition of the company’s Global Premium Office Rent Tracker

Renting a top quality office in Hong Kong will set you back an average of US$262 per square foot per year as strong tenant demand and shortages of premium grade space push prices up. This compares with London, where rents in the best buildings average US$240 per square foot per year. Beijing, which is rapidly extending its global business networks, ranks third at US$199 per square foot per year.

In New York, top rents average US$171 as the technology and media sectors increasingly drive demand. Shanghai ranks fifth globally at $136, supported by the growth of domestic companies. 

JLL Global Premium Office Rent Tracker4.PNG

“Our research reveals that three of the top five cities with the costliest office rents are in Asia and half of the top 10 are Asian cities,” says Chris Archibold, head of markets at JLL Singapore. “A large part of the global growth is now driven out of Asia and international businesses will continue to be keen to set up their presence in the region; some of these markets have a shortage of supply driving rents northwards.  In order to remain competitive from a real estate perspective, these cities will need to ensure a supply of appropriately priced, flexible commercial space.”

Beijing and Shanghai make their mark

Competition from several Emerging World Cities is heating up, with China’s Alpha cities – Beijing (3rd) and Shanghai (5th) – fast-tracking to maturity and extending their global business networks. This city duo is showing a remarkable capacity to absorb high levels of additional office space, supported by the growth of a new breed of domestic private companies. 

Singapore, Sydney Offer Cost Advantage

Established World Cities such as Singapore (ranked 11th), where new supply is helping affordability, have comparatively lower occupancy costs. In Asia Pacific, Sydney (ranked 20th) with average rents of $60 per square foot per year, also offers significant cost advantages. Other Asia Pacific cities included in the top 10 global rankings are Tokyo and Delhi. 

“We are in a new era of city competition, where cities are fighting to secure the world’s most dynamic corporations, attract the best talent and pull in capital, both of which are highly mobile,” says Megan Walters, head of capital markets research in Asia Pacific. “Nowhere is this intense competition between cities better epitomised than in the demand for premium office buildings in the world’s most prestigious commercial office districts.”

Premium Office Rent Tracker (US$/s.f./year)

JLL Global Premium Office Rent Tracker5.PNG

About the JLL Global Premiu​m Office Rent Tracker

In this first edition, the report’s focus is on office occupation costs across 24 cities of differing function and evolution, ranging from Established World Cities (such as New York, London and Tokyo) through to Emerging World Cities (like Shanghai, Moscow and Mumbai) and New World Cities (as typified by San Francisco, Boston and Toronto). The Tracker includes the key elements of occupancy costs – net effective rent, service charges and property tax – all standardised to enable international comparisons.

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About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. A Fortune 500 company with annual fee revenue of $5.2 billion and gross revenue of $6.0 billion, JLL has more than 230 corporate offices, operates in more than 80 countries and has a global workforce of more than 60,000. On behalf of its clients, the firm provides management and real estate outsourcing services for a property portfolio of 4.0 billion square feet, or 372 million square meters, and completed $138 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2015. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $56.4 billion of real estate assets under management. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit

JLL has over 50 years of experience in Asia Pacific, with over 32,000 employees operating in 83 offices in 16 countries across the region. The firm was named ‘Best International Property Consultancy’ and ‘Best Property Consultancy Asia Pacific’ at the International Property Awards Final 2015 as well as number one real estate advisor in Asia at the 2015 Euromoney Real Estate Awards.  

In Greater China, the firm was named ‘Best Property Consultancy in China’ at the International Property Awards Asia Pacific 2015, and has more than 2,200 professionals and 14,000 on-site staff providing quality real estate advice and services in over 80 cities across the country.