Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane among most expensive retail cities in the world

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Aussie cities are included in the list of the most expensive retail streets in world. Pitt Street Mall in Sydney, Bourke Street Mall in Melbourne and Queen Street in Brisbane were all recognised as some of the priciest places to rent a store in.

Pitt Street Mall sits among the top 10 most expensive “main street” locations globally, the latest Cushman & Wakefield, Main Streets Across the World report has found. Bourke Street is number 17, while Queen Street Mall is 32nd in the world.

Up to 462 of the top retail streets around the globe were tracked for the report, ranking the most expensive in each country by their prime rental value. It is based on rent per capita – per square foot in US dollars and per square metre in euros.

There is an increasing number of opportunities for landlords to secure high quality tenants in the Australian retail market. In Sydney, the average rent per square metre per annum is around $12,000 while it costs $6,600/sqm in Melbourne and $4,050/sqm in Brisbane.

Cushman & Wakefield's national director of research John Sears has said there is $62 billion of infrastructure development across Sydney's central business district due to some upgrades. These include those along George Street, Circular Quay and some new apartments surrounding Hyde Park.

Melbourne and Brisbane are both in the midst of CBD redevelopment. Sears confirmed that all three cities witness a boost in demand for an array of retail offerings. "These developments will help drive economic growth by making it faster and easier to move around the CBD, promote Sydney as a destination and create the space to absorb future business growth," Sears said.

Cushman & Wakefield retail leasing directors Matt Hudson and Ben Tremellen said that one of the factors is the driving change in tenancies across the cities. These are the development of new offices, population growth, residential towers, hotel projects and student accommodation.

Tremellen said banks in particular are coming back from the suburbs with the population growth rising in CBD living. Many aim for prime CBD sites to service the expanded customer base.

"These tenants want bigger footprints and are willing to pay for a spot in the prime, main streets across the country," Tremellen said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. He added that this trend will continue, warning that if a retailer has not kept up its relevance, it will be caught in the rotation game.

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