Shoreditch@London: World’s most expensive tech district

Asian cities on top 10 list include Beijing’s Zhongguancun and Bangkok’s CBD

Singapore – Knight Frank, the independent global property consultancy, launches the fourth edition of Global Cities: The 2018 Report. The report looks into the continuous trends in real estate across 40 Global Cities, equipping occupiers and investors with insights for future real estate decisions. The year’s report analyses the cost of office space in the tech and creative districts of the world’s 29 leading cities.

Result highlights:

  • Shoreditch in London is identified as the world’s most expensive tech district, with intense demand for office space pushing rents as high as US$90.75 per sq ft – which are almost as high as prime rents in London’s main financial district; and more than doubled that of Singapore’s OneNorth (US$41.45).

Shoreditch, London

  • Bangkok’s CBD including Rama 1, Sathorn and Sukhumvit Soi 21 (US$74.25) and Zhongguancun in Beijing (US$55.05) are the only two tech districts in Asia Pacific on the top 10 list.
  • Shoreditch is followed by Mid-Market in San Francisco, where rents are US$77 per sq ft, and Silicon Docks in Dublin (US$76.30) which has become the European base for many tech corporates including Twitter and Google
  • Despite boasting some of the most expensive office buildings in the world, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore all provide affordable office space in their emerging tech districts.
    • In Cyberport, the heart of Hong Kong’s tech sector, office rents are US$36.90, which is 90% lower than rents paid in the city’s skyscrapers.
    • Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park in Shanghai and One-North in Singapore offer rents at US$27.50 per sq ft and US$41.45 per sq ft respectively.

Fusionopolis, One-north. Buona Vista, Singapore

Calvin Yeo, Executive Director and Head of Office Advisory, Knight Frank Singapore, comments, “Singapore’s advantage is in the provision of business park offices for technology companies, which on average is around 49% lower than CBD office rents.”

Nicholas Holt, Asia Pacific Head of Research, Knight Frank, says, “While the new economy is driving demand in many of Asia Pacific’s office markets, rental costs in specific technology cluster areas vary significantly. De-centralisation has provided opportunities for tech companies outside the major tertiary office areas. This is reflected in Shanghai where opportunities can be found outside the CBD in areas such as Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, as compared to Bangkok where typically tech companies would be clustered in the CBD.”

James Roberts, Chief Economist at Knight Frank, says, “The fact that rents in Shoreditch exceed those in Brooklyn and Mid-Market San Francisco underlines London as a world-leader in tech.

“However, while there has been much debate on how Brexit will affect London’s status in financial services, the impact on the burgeoning tech sector has been overlooked. To maintain its position London will need to attract and retain the world’s best talent, and that means works visas.

“Support for London’s thriving tech industry should be higher on the government’s list of priorities.”

Office rents in Tech Districts

Ranking City Tech District Prime Rent 
(US$ per sq ft per annum)
1 London Shoreditch 90.75
2 San Francisco Mid-Market 77.00
3 Dublin Docklands 76.30
4 Bangkok CBD: Rama 1, Sathorn, Sukhumvit Soi 21 74.25
5 Paris 1st, 2nd and 9th Districts 74.00
6 Boston Seaport District 72.00
7 Los Angeles Playa Vista 62.00
8 New York Brooklyn 56.05
9 Beijing Zhongguancun 55.05
10 Washington DC NoMa (North of Masssachusetts Avenue) 51.25
11 Austin The Domain 44.50
12 Seattle South Lake Union 44.00
13 Dubai Dubai Media City 43.55
14 Singapore One-North 41.45
15 Berlin Potzdammer Platz 40.70