Key Cities See Commercial Rent Gains

Knight Frank reports that commercial properties in key cities around the globe saw an increase in rents for the year ending in June. The 2.3% jump is considered …

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Knight Frank reports that commercial properties in key cities around the globe saw an increase in rents for the year ending in June. The 2.3% jump is considered a modest improvement, but is small compared to the kinds of annual gains seen before the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008. Economists at Knight Frank note that these numbers are tied to employment, business confidence and other elements of broader economic performance and that the focus of future gains will likely be focused in emerging markets. Rents in places like Manhattan, Hong Kong and Singapore are improving, but projected GDP gains in countries like Kenya and Israel show promise of bigger increases.  For more on this continue reading the following article from Property Wire.

Prime rents in key cities worldwide rose by 2.3% in the year to June as corporate demand, particularly in the world’s emerging markets, is driving rents higher, according to the latest index from Knight Frank.

However, although the index recorded annual growth of 2.3% in the year to June, this modest performance remains some way off the double digit growth seen before 2008, suggesting that the prevailing economic conditions continue to impede growth. The index shows the Eurozone remains weak.

The performance of prime rents across global cities is intrinsically linked to employment, business confidence and recruitment, says Knight Frank.

At the top end of the world’s rental markets corporate demand is increasingly influential, accounting for up to 85% of prime rental demand in some cities.

As in the prime sales market, it is those cities that generate strong foreign demand that have seen the strongest uplift in rents since the global recession hit in 2008. Prime rents in London, New York and Hong Kong have risen by 25.7%, 23.9% and 35.6% respectively since their recessional lows.

While the latest results show prime rents continue to push higher in New York, annual rental growth is weaker in London and Hong Kong.

‘London’s current weakness in headline rents is not due to a wider downturn in demand from tenants. Instead, affordability constraints and the weaker performance of London’s economy are limiting the scope for rental growth,’ said Jemma Scott, Knight Frank’s head of Corporate Services.

‘Lettings volumes were strong in the second quarter as the Olympic Games prompted some corporate tenants to arrive early to secure the best properties. Demand from US and French tenants proved particularly strong,’ he added.

In Manhattan prime rents are at their highest since the recession. An improving regional economy, rising employment and strict bank lending has helped drive rents upwards as potential buyers have opted to rent until mortgage lending rules are relaxed.

In Hong Kong and Singapore a heated sales market in recent years has seen prime prices rise by 76.5% and 31.2% respectively from their recession lows. Affordability pressures accompanied by rising interest rates and growing demand from foreign tenants have boosted prime rents.
 
But rents in Hong Kong and Singapore still trail prices, with growth of 35.6% and 20.6% respectively over the same period.

Knight Frank says that future rental growth is likely to be focussed on the world’s developing markets as business globalisation increases. Nairobi, Tel Aviv and Guangzhou’s positions at the top of the rankings this quarter are not incidental.
 
In sharp contrast to many western economies, Kenya, Israel and China are forecast to see chunky GDP growth of 4.7%, 2.3% and 7.8% respectively in 2012, due in large part to a surge in foreign investment.

This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.

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