The firm’s eighteenth annual Global Office Thermometer report found that global occupiers are generally benefitting from significant drops in office costs with prices dropping by 4.4% overall in 2014.
South Asia saw the fastest decline with an 8.3% decrease which reflected slowing economic growth and the depreciation of local currencies against the US dollar.
Europe wasn’t far behind with an average decline of 7.8% again due to economic slowdown and currency depreciation of the euro.
Occupancy costs in North America and north Asia increased by 2% and 1.5% respectively, reflecting the relative overall strength of the two regions.
On a city level Moscow saw the sharpest fall in occupancy costs, dropping by a third. Other Eastern European cities also posted sharp declines including Bucharest (25%), Bratislava (23%), Kiev (20%) and Warsaw (13%).
The big Canadian cities also experienced sudden falls with Toronto decreasing by 30%, Ottawa 11% and Montreal 11%. New York (13%) and Atlanta (11%) saw the sharpest falls in the US while in Australia all the major office markets posted falls, including Perth (16%), Canberra (14%), Brisbane (13%), Adelaide (12%) and Sydney (12%).
In contrast, London’s West End saw costs rise sharply. At $29,000 per workstation, it is 11 times more expensive than the cheapest European city Lisbon. Dublin registered the fastest increase in costs in Europe with a rise of 13% in 2014 with London just behind on 11%.
Some of the fastest increases globally were seen in the Middle East and African markets. Abu Dhabi saw the fastest increase in occupancy costs of any city in the global ranking, increasing by 36%.
Other Middle East markets also rose rapidly, notably Jeddah (20%) and Riyadh (11%). Similarly, occupancy costs in Lagos increased 8% as the Nigerian city continued its recent upwards trend.