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Here’s Why NYC’s Fifth Avenue Was Named World’s Most Expensive Shopping Area

By Natalie Wong

A section of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue ranks as the most expensive shopping corridor in the world as rents surpass pre-pandemic levels. 

Shoppers walk past an Armani store on Fifth Avenue in New York, U.S., on Monday, Dec. 27, 2021. U.S. holiday sales jumped 8.5% from last year as consumers spent more money on clothes, jewelry and electronics, a report from Mastercard SpendingPulse showed.

Space on Upper Fifth Avenue, between 49th and 60th streets, garners some of the highest average rents, according to a report by Cushman & Wakefield Plc. The area’s resilience during the pandemic downturn, coupled with the strength of the US dollar, helped the corridor bounce to the top of a list of shopping districts across the world from its second-level spot in a ranking done before Covid hit. Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui district was the second most-expensive spot, followed by Milan’s Via Montenapoleone, London’s New Bond Street and the Avenue des Champs Elysees in Paris.Rents for retail space globally were hit hard as the pandemic bore down. The Americas proved to be the most resilient region, with the US benefitting from fiscal policies and an influx of buying power into certain markets such as Houston and Austin, Texas. The River Oaks district in Houston posted some of the strongest rent growth in the Americas from pre-Covid to the present, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s ranking.In the US, rents for retailers are now 25% above pre-pandemic levels. The average price for a spot on Upper Fifth Avenue in New York climbed 14% from before Covid hit, according to the report.The Asia-Pacific region and the Europe, Middle East and Africa area have yet to fully bounce back from the downturn. Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui area is seeing rents 41% below pre-pandemic levels.

–With assistance from Jack Sidders.

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