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January 2, 2019

Hot spots where companies are setting up shop aren’t necessarily the most expensive.

Hong Kong’s Central is the most expensive office market in the world, with occupancy costs, which includes rent, service charges and government taxes, 60 percent higher than New York’s Midtown, and nearly 75 percent more than London’s West End.

While Hong Kong’s Central area will set you back in occupancy costs of US$338 per square foot, in Taipei premium offices is 80 percent lower, according to JLL data. Or Seoul, where office costs are around 70 percent lower.

Given the price difference, “International companies are looking beyond the core office markets, such as Hong Kong, into emerging office markets of Asia Pacific for expansion or in some cases consolidation, which may help counter-balance the current high occupancy costs,” says Jeremy Sheldon, Head of Markets, Asia Pacific, JLL.

Yum! and Citibank have signed leases in Bangkok, co-working firms WeWork has signed a new deal in Jakarta and JLL has opened a new office in Bangalore.

Of course, cheaper doesn’t mean better. Workplaces play a big part in talent attraction and retention, so excellent transport, trendy local amenities, and the quality of connectivity to the digital world are still important.

The 10 most affordable premium office markets in Asia Pacific premium office markets balance those needs without breaking the bank, according to JLL’s Premium Office Rent Tracker.

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Jeremy Sheldon

Managing Director, Markets and Integrated Portfolio Services, JLL Asia Pacific

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