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Beirut has 36th most expensive retail rent in the world

BEIRUT | - November 19, 2012, 08h19
Photo: Maude Girard
The 2012 survey of the world's most expensive retail rental locations by property consultants Cushman & Wakefield ranked Beirut as the 36th most expensive city among 62 cities worldwide, the second most expensive city among seven cities in the Middle East & Africa region, and the most expensive among five Arab cities.
Each city is represented by its most expensive retail location. Beirut was the 37th most expensive city worldwide, the third most expensive among 13 cities in the Middle East & Africa region, and the most expensive among 10 Arab cities included in the 2011 survey. It ranked as the 30th most expensive city globally, the most expensive among 12 cities in the Middle East & Africa region and the most expensive among 10 Arab cities in the 2010 survey. The study evaluates retail rent prices in 326 locations in 62 countries around the world.

On a global basis, the rent of retail space in Beirut was less costly than in Luxembourg, Santiago in Chile and Cape Town in South Africa, and more expensive than in Auckland in New Zealand, Stockholm in Sweden, and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. The most expensive rental retail location in Beirut is the ABC Center in Achrafieh at €1,576 per square meter per year, or around $2,000 per sqm, which is lower than the global average of €2,212 per sqm and higher than the Middle East & Africa average of €1,140 per sqm.

Cushman & Wakefield indicated that political instability is preventing significant rises in prime rents, even though that the lack of quality space and high inflation are exerting upward pressure on rental rates. It said that food and drink retailers remain active, and foreign international fashion brands are gradually entering the Lebanese market. It expected rents to remain stable despite regional and local political instability and the supply of new space. It noted that rents might slightly increase due to higher inflation and robust occupier demand.

Lebanon accounted for two of the top 10 most expensive rental locations in the Middle East & Africa region. The ABC Center in Achrafieh ranked as the third most expensive location in the region in terms of retail rent prices, followed by Kaslik Street in 10th place at €1,182 per sqm ($1,500 per sqm), Verdun Street in 12th place at €1,103 per sqm ($1,400 per sqm), the Beirut Central District in13th place at €946 per sqm ($1,201 per sqm), and Hamra Street in 19th place at €670 per sqm ($850 per sqm).
In parallel, rent in all the covered locations in Lebanon remained unchanged in the 12 months ending June 2012, except for rent in the Beirut Central District that regressed by 7.7% during the covered period. Retail rents grew by an average of 1.4% in the Middle East & Africa year-on-year, as rents increased in five locations, declined in four other locations, and were unchanged in nine locations, while five locations did not have historical data. Also, retail rents grew by an average of 4.5% globally, with rents rising in 147 of the 326 locations surveyed, and declining in 49 others. Hong Kong's Causeway Bay is the world's most expensive retail location at €22,307 per sqm a year.

Source: Lebanon This Week, the economic publication of the Byblos Bank Group.
#RealEstate, #Beirut
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