* Rents in 84 pct of global locations rose or held firm in 2010
* New York’s Fifth Ave still world’s priciest shopping street
* Asia, S.America lead global rental growth
* Middle East, Africa rentals stagnate
By Brenda Goh
LONDON, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Prime rents in over 80 percent of the world’s most expensive shopping streets rose or held firm in the year to June, as Asia and Latin America led the global recovery in rents for the best retail space, data from property advisor Cushman & Wakefield showed on Thursday.
New York’s Fifth Avenue retained its spot as the world’s priciest shopping belt for the 10th year running as rents jumped by 21.6 percent to $2,250 per square foot per year, the Cushman survey of 278 retail locations in 63 countries showed.
Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay and Japan’s Ginza district kept their respective second and third positions, while Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall leapt to fourth place from last year’s ninth, after redevelopments drove rents up by 33.3 percent.
Paris’s Avenue des Champs Elysées overtook London’s New Bond Street to take fifth place and the title of Europe’s most expensive shopping belt, as rents on the French street rose 5.3 percent to $992 per square foot.
“The recovery in the West is fragile, but our offices have seen enhanced levels of business, particularly in the major city centres, which are on the shopping lists of many international brands,” Cushman’s Global Head of Retail, John Strachan, said in a statement.
“Retailers continue to expand in the Middle East and Japan, but China, India and to some extent South America remain the focus of attention for many of the world’s leading retailers.”
The survey showed that 84 percent of the 278 locations surveyed recorded prime rents rising or holding firm over the past year. In comparison, rents in 71 percent of 269 shopping streets surveyed in 2010 rose or held firm.
The Middle East and Africa was the sole region to experience no rental growth, driven primarily by the unstable political situation in countries such as Bahrain and Syria, where rents fell by 26.7 percent and 16.7 percent, respectively.
In Asia, rents rose 12.2 percent, buoyed by a 109.5 percent surge in rents in Beijing’s Wangfujing district, while rents in South America rose 10.6 percent, helped by a 52.2 percent rise in Rio de Janeiro’s Garcia D’Avila street.
Rental growth across Europe rose by 1.9 percent, rebounding from a 4.2 percent decline last year. Rents in North America rose 5.1 percent.
(Reporting by Brenda Goh)
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