Global Prime Rent Rises Grind To A Halt

Average rents for prime properties worldwide are standing still due to economic and political uncertainty.

The prime global rental index for the third quarter of 2016 reported zero movement.

This does not mean rents are not shifting in every city monitored by property consultants Knight Frank.

Toronto, Canada and Tokyo, Japan, both recorded increases of more than 7%.

Toronto leads the world index with a 7.9% rise fuelled by the city’s population expanding by 9% last year, low unemployment and the rising cost of owning a home.

Rent rises and falls

Tokyo boasts a 7.3% rise with a market based on similar factors to those boosting Toronto.

Elsewhere, Nairobi, Kenya, had the largest drop in rents – by 10.8% compared to a year earlier.

This is blamed on an oversupply of prime rental homes, lower demand from expat assignees and local economic issues linked to the price of oil.

Around the world, Knight Frank reports that besides Toronto and Tokyo, rents were up in Cape Town, South Africa (3.3%); Moscow (3.2%); Tel Aviv, Israel (2.7%); New York (2.4%); Beijing and Guangzhou, China (2.1%); Zurich (1.6%) and Shanghai (1.4%).

Besides Nairobi, rents were down in Hong Kong (-6.9%); Geneva (-5.9%); London (-4.7%); Vienna, Austria (-3.3%); Singapore (-3.3%).

Taipei, Taiwan stood still at 0%.

Worst returns in Europe and Africa

With Toronto leading the rent rankings for the quarter, North America was the strongest region for prime rental landlords with average regional growth of 5.1% for the year. Rents were also up in the Middle East (2.7%) and the Asia Pacific (0.4%).

The worst returns were in Africa, where rents slumped 3.7% on average during the year. Europe also reported a negative dip of -1.8%.

Out of 17 cities tracked by the index, 10 reported rent rises slowing down.

The firm’s senior research analysts Taimur Khan said: “while uncertainty remains over the form of Brexit and the stance on global trade which President-elect Trump it is not surprising the US Fed hiked interest rates.

“The rise may have significant knock on effects particularly for emerging markets. Record levels of sovereign debt in some emerging markets means that even a small increase in interest rates may suppress corporate activity, which in turn could hinder economic growth and prime rental market performance.”

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