The global recession is taking its toll on even the priciest shopping streets, where rents have plunged the most in at least 24 years, according to Cushman & Wakefield Inc., the largest closely held real estate broker. Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue kept its ranking as the world’s most expensive retail address, even as annual rents dropped 8.1 percent in the year ended in June, to $1,700 a square foot, the New York-based company said today in a report. Rents in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay declined 15 percent to $1,525. On the Avenue des Champs-Elysees in Paris, they were little changed at $1,009. “The last 12 months have been one of the most difficult periods ever for the retail sector,” John Strachan, global head of retail at Cushman & Wakefield, said in an e-mailed statement. “The impact has been much more significant as the full impact of the downturn has been realized.”
By Peter Woodifield, Sept. 22, 2009, Bloomberg

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