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Mixed Fortunes for Asian High Streets in Latest Global Report


Last week Cushman & Wakefield launched the 30th annual edition of the “Main Streets Across the World” report, an essential look at changing prime rental values across all of the most desirable retail locations around the world. 

With the jury still out on the long-term viability of physical retail in the face of growing e-commerce demand, the rankings act as a valuable bellwether for changing retail fortunes across 65 international markets.

In this latest edition of the report Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay main street has taken the most expensive street top spot from New York’s Upper 5th Avenue for the first time in five years. With rent standing at US$2,671 per sq ft, Causeway Bay is more than twice as expensive as the next most exclusive Asian high street, Tokyo’s Ginza which comes in at US$1,219 per sq ft.


Despite the divide, the gap between Hong Kong and Tokyo actually narrowed slightly since the 2017 rankings were released. Indeed, of the top 10 most expensive main streets in Asia Pacific, half of them saw rents fall from their 2017 highs. Despite predicted Asian GDP growth in 2018 of 5.6%, some 32% of APAC main streets saw rental growth decline over the last 12 months, compared with just 17% in Europe despite their more modest 2018 predicted GDP growth of 2.3%.

Nevertheless, it’s not all bad news for Asia Pacific brick-and-mortar retail. Makati in Metro Manila led the world with the strongest main street rental growth (69.3%), and both Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall and Seoul’s Myeongdong shopping street joined Ginza and Causeway Bay in the global top 10. What’s more, with 28% of Asia Pacific main streets categorized as growing, there is plenty to be optimistic about, especially when it comes to emerging market economies.

Find out more about the changing face of Asian high streets in the 30th annual “Main Streets Across the World” report, available now.

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