Causeway Bay retains shopping crown, for now

Business | Kevin Xu 14 Nov 2019

Causeway Bay remains the world's most expensive shopping destination, with rents running at US$2,745 (HK$21,411) per square foot a year, according to real estate service firm company Cushman & Wakefield, but that could change with the social unrest.

Russell Street in Causeway Bay "remains the world's most expensive retail street this year based on data from June when our global survey was completed," said Cushman & Wakefield executive director Kevin Lam.

"Since then, however, the Hong Kong retail market has come under growing pressure from local social unrest that has led to a sharp drop in tourist arrivals and retail sales as well as interruptions to retailer operations. As a result, retail rents have fallen across all submarkets in recent months, and the outlook for the remainder of the year is muted.

"However, some retailers see the current market correction as a rare opportunity to return to the high street," he added.

In particular, trades that focus on mass-market demand and local consumption, such as the education, lifestyle and sports/athleisure sectors, will fare better in the current environment. We are seeing a number of such retailers cautiously look for opportunities to expand or to seek a better rental package."

New York's Upper 5th Avenue is in second place in the expensive street list at US$2,250 per sq ft per year followed by London's New Bond Street at US$1,714 per sq ft.

Beijing's Wangfujing is the other city in Greater China that figures in Cushman & Wakefield's top 20. That ranks 11th globally.

The Cushman & Wakefield annual report tracks rents for 448 locations across 68 markets.

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