Moscow Office Rents Almost Double

Moscow office rents almost doubled in the past year to the second-highest in the world, surpassing Mumbai, CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. said. London's West End remains the priciest market, Bloomberg reports.

Rents in the Russian capital jumped by an average of 93 percent in dollar terms in the 12 months to March 31, the second- biggest gain among 173 cities tracked by CB Richard Ellis, the world's largest commercial property broker.

Moscow's $232.37 a square foot a year (132 euros per square meter per month) ranks behind the $299.54 charged in the West End and ahead of Inner Central Tokyo, Mumbai and Outer Central Tokyo, CB Richard Ellis said in a semi-annual survey. London's main financial district, New Delhi, Paris, Singapore and Dubai rounded out the top 10.

``Office occupancy costs are continuing to defy sluggish economic conditions and the credit crunch as they rise faster than global inflation,'' Raymond Torto, CB Richard Ellis's chief economist, said in the report.

The cost of occupancy, which includes service charges and taxes, advanced the most in Ho Chi Minh City, 94 percent, followed by Moscow, Singapore, Nicosia and Oslo.

``These cost increases are dominated by emerging markets, caused by both supply and demand imbalance and the depreciation of the dollar relative to local currencies,'' Torto said. ``In some of these emerging markets, Class A office space is seriously lacking.''

Midtown Manhattan remained the most expensive market for commercial real estate in the Americas, at $103.43 per square foot per year, ranking 13th worldwide. Calgary, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Vancouver were the next most expensive cities in the Americas.

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