Dubai skyscraper office rents flatline since July 2014

Latest Knight Frank Skyscraper Index shows Dubai rents are less than a fifth of those charged in Hong Kong
Dubai skyscraper office rents flatline since July 2014
By Staff writer
Sat 02 May 2015 12:59 AM

Dubai skyscraper office rents have flatlined since the middle of last year and average costs are now less than a fifth of those charged in Hong Kong, a new report has revealed.

The latest Skyscraper Index from Knight Frank and Newmark Grubb Knight Frank showed that average skyscraper prime office rents in Dubai are $43.50 per square foot per year, with zero growth registered since July 2014.

Dubai ranked 16th out of the 18th most expensive skyscraper office markets, which was topped by Hong Kong which demands average rents of more than $250 per sq ft per year.

New York was ranked second after seeing dramatic increases of 20 percent to hit $150.00 per sq ft since July 2014, the report showed.

New York rental values have boomed as skyscraper development has increased, with towers proving popular workplaces for the expanding digital and creative firms in the city, as well as financial and professional firms.

However, Hong Kong’s large lead in rents reflects a low vacancy rate and constrained CBD area.

Tokyo, London and San Francisco completed the top five most expensive skyscraper office rents in the world.

The Skyscraper Index ranks cities according to a score system based on a range of criteria including skyscraper office rents and yields, the spread offered by investment yields compared to national bonds, the number of high rises built, and growth prospects for the city.

William Neill, partner, Commercial Leasing at Knight Frank Dubai said: “A high quality office environment is an essential part of building a business. With the economy improving, firms want offices that provide an inspiring place to work and demonstrate they value their employees.

“Today the rent paid on an office workstation is usually less than the fee paid to a head hunter to replace a person who leaves. So companies want to use their offices as a way to make staff feel they are valued and important. You achieve that when you put workers in the building that appears as the backdrop during the stock market report on the evening news.”

Khawar Khan, research manager at Knight Frank Dubai, added: “We are now seeing the western cities erode the lead of big Asian centres in tower office rents. For premium floors with views rents are rising in Hong Kong, but they are increasing much faster in New York. Similarly London is closing the gap on Tokyo.

“Economic growth prospects for this year favour locations like New York and London, so I see these cities stepping up competition on the Asian centres. Many people like to say that the balance in the global economy is shifting from west to east, but certainly skyscraper rents provide another indicator that shows this is not entirely the case.”

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