West End rents are Europe’s most expensive

Kasmira Jefford
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LONDON’S West End remains the second most expensive market in the world in which to rent office space after Hong Kong, according to research released yesterday by Knight Frank.

The property consultancy firm said the West End was the most costly office location in Europe last year, commanding an average annual rent of £1,022 per square metre, and significantly ahead of Moscow’s £742 per square metre.

“The West End has a hefty lead over Moscow in third place so it is unlikely to be overtaken in the next study,” Tony Nicholas, Knight Frank’s head of global corporate services, said.

“In fact, with a vacancy rate of 5.6 per cent, we expect further growth in famous postcodes such as Mayfair and St James, so London might close the gap on Hong Kong in 2013.”

Hong Kong, which stole the number one spot from London in 2011, was joined in the top 20 league table other Asian cities Singapore and Beijing, with Knight Frank predicting further rental growth this year.

China’s capital has been the fastest riser in the last five years, moving from 25th place in 2007 to 12th place last year.

London’s City market also moved up one place in the rankings to claim the seventh spot, thanks to growing demand from technology firms as well as insurers taking up space, with an average annual rent of £592 per square metre.