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Top 5 most expensive business locations

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London
London’s central business district covers a large part of the City, a big section of Westminster, parts of several other boroughs and the Canary Wharf area to the east. Globally it is incredibly important and employs well more than one million people working in areas including international finance, business services and retail and leisure activities.

As well as all this, London has recently regained its title of most expensive city to rent office space – beating Hong Kong and Tokyo for the first time since the financial crisis began in 2008.

“As a truly global city, London’s appeal continues unabated,” said Digby Flower, chief of London markets at international property broker Cushman & Wakefield.

What’s more, rents are predicted to continue growing as the economic outlook in the country gets increasingly positive.

Hong Kong
Central Hong Kong is the business district of the nation and is located on the north shore of the island across from the famous Victoria Harbour.

Many multinational companies have their headquarters here, including financial institutions and foreign office consulates. The area is known for being one of the most expensive locations in the whole of Asia to rent office space.

According to a report by real-estate services firm CBRE Group, average annual occupancy costs about  £157 per square foot each month for high quality buildings.

“High-quality and premium space is still highly sought after, especially by mainland Chinese firms, which are increasingly setting up their offices in the area’s most prestigious buildings,” the report said.

Rio de Janeiro
Brazil is continuing on its path of major transformation and the city of Rio de Janeiro is at the heart of it all.

It’s said to be a modern city that looks well to the future, offering plenty of opportunities for national and global companies keen on investment. With six million inhabitants – making it the third largest city in Latin America – it really is a global hub and a growing economic powerhouse.

All of this is reflected in its business district Zona Sul – where office rental is getting pricier by the day. Indeed, according to the International Business Times’ report on the world’s most expensive business districts, Rio’s Zona Sul has climbed five spaces from eighth place in 2008 to third this year.

New Delhi
New Delhi’s Connaught Place is a bustling hive of business activity and the headquarters of many national and global corporations – such as HSBC and Lufthansa – looking to tap into this rapidly growing market.

The huge area is immediately recognisable on any map as it sits in a large circle with roads spreading from it like the spokes on a wheel. It also accounts for the fourth most expensive office destination in the world, according to global property consultants CBRE Group.

For many years, Connaught Place has been a highly-sought after location for conducting business and not only is it home to major companies, many offices of the central government and banks are also located here.

Last year, rents increased by a whopping 25 per cent and to top it all off, Connaught Place has very low vacancy rates, meaning the chance of getting a foot in the door with your own headquarters here is pretty slim.

Tokyo
Tokyo’s office market had been experiencing a two-year decline, but like the country’s economy, it’s now showing positive signs of recovery.

This has prompted multinationals such as Apple and Morgan Stanley to hastily relocate their Japanese headquarters before rental costs become sky high and vacancy rates drop once more – both of which real estate broker Jones Lang LaSalle predicts will happen during this year and next.

Prime office rental spaces have already risen more than 13 per cent to £170 per tsubo (Japanese square feet) in the last quarter, according to Sanko Estate Co – a Tokyo-based broker.

The least expensive
In contrast, the least expensive business locations are dominated by Eastern European countries – Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Estonia and Latvia.

So, for businesses on a budget looking to set up an international headquarters, one of these nations could be a better place to start than the top five most expensive business locations.