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Beirut has 48th most expensive retail rent in the world

BEIRUT | iloubnan.info - November 23, 2015, 11h33

Property consultants Cushman & Wakefield's 2015 survey of the world's most expensive streets in terms of rents for retail space ranked Beirut as the 48th most expensive retail location among 65 cities worldwide, the fourth most expensive city among seven cities in the Middle East & Africa region, and the third most expensive among five Arab cities, Byblos Bank ‘Lebanon This Week’ reported.

Each city is represented by its most expensive retail street. Beirut's global rank rose by two spots from 50th place in the 2014 survey, while its regional rank was unchanged year-on-year. The study evaluated retail rental prices between June 2014 and June 2015 in over 500 locations in 65 countries around the world.

In previous editions, Cushman & Wakefield included both key shopping centers and main retail streets locations in its coverage. But it limited its coverage in the current survey to main retail streets and updated the 2014 rankings accordingly.

On a global basis, the rent of retail space in Beirut was more expensive than in Zaghreb in Croatia, Ljubljana in Slovenia and Taguig in the Philippines, and less costly than in Bogota in Colombia, Almaty in Kazakhstan and Doha in Qatar.

The most expensive retail rental location in Beirut is Verdun Street at €853 per square meter (sqm) per year, or around $950 per sqm, which is 34% higher than the Middle East & Africa's average of €636 per sqm. Cushman & Wakefield indicated that several developments are in the pipeline in the already saturated Lebanese market, which would negatively affect the rental growth rates in the short-to medium term

In parallel, when including all the 31 surveyed locations in the Middle East & Africa region, Verdun Street ranks as the 11th most expensive location in the region in terms of retail rent prices, followed by Hamra Street and Kaslik Street in 12th place at €763 per sqm each ($850 per sqm each). Rents at Verdun Street rose by 11.8% in the 12 months ending June 2015, while rents in Hamra Street and Kaslik Street were unchanged year-on-year.

Retail rents increased by an average of 3.1% year-on-year in the Middle East & Africa, as rents increased in nine locations, fell in one location and were unchanged in 21 locations. New York's Upper fifth Avenue remained the world's most expensive retail location at €33,812 per sqm a year.

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