Lebanon Accounts For 2 of Top 10 Priciest Rental Locations in MENA. WHY?
The 2012 survey of the world's most expensive retail rental locations by property consultants Cushman & Wakefield ranked Beirut as the 36th most expensive city among 62 cities worldwide, the second most expensive city among seven cities in the Middle East & Africa region.
The high demand mainly for prime locations, along with a shortage of supply have driven retail space prices upwards, agree real estate experts. If Beirut has witnessed a retail boom over the past five years, with a wave of new shopping centers, however, the sector is still far from saturation. A number of malls are currently afoot in Beirut and its suburbs. Hazmieh will be home to the Beirut City Center. Expected to be one of the major shopping malls in the region, “the $40 million shopping mall project by Majid Al Futtaim properties, is set to be completed by 2013. The Beirut City Center will comprise 180 stores across 60,000 square meters of retail space.
The retail market in Lebanon is mainly concentrated in Beirut and the Northern outskirts. Acres Development opened “Le Mall” in Dbayeh.
According to Cushman & Wakefield Beirut was the 37th most expensive city worldwide, the third most expensive among 13 cities in the Middle East & Africa region, and the most expensive among 10 Arab cities included in the 2011 survey. The study evaluates retail rent prices in 326 locations in 62 countries around the world.
The most expensive rental retail location in Beirut is the ABC Center in Achrafieh at €1,576 per square meter per year, or around $2,000 per sqm, which is lower than the global average of €2,212 per sqm and higher than the Middle East & Africa average of €1,140 per sqm. According to the survey, the political instability is preventing significant rises in prime rents, even though that the lack of quality space and high inflation are exerting upward pressure on rental rates.
Lebanon accounted for two of the top 10 most expensive rental locations in the Middle East & Africa region. The ABC Center in Achrafieh ranked as the third most expensive location in the region in terms of retail rent prices, followed by Kaslik Street at €1,182 per sqm ($1,500 per sqm), Verdun Street in at €1,103 per sqm ($1,400 per sqm), the Beirut Central District at €946 per sqm ($1,201 per sqm), and Hamra Street at €670 per sqm ($850 per sqm).
The survey expected rents to remain stable despite regional and local political instability and the supply of new space. Rents might slightly increase due to higher inflation .
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