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NEW YORK CITY-Fifth Avenue in Manhattan once again has the highest retail rents in the world. On the stretch between 49th and 59th streets in 2006, landlords were commanding $1,500 per-sf for retail space, according to an annual Cushman & Wakefield report.

Fifth Avenue, up 11% from 2005, was also the highest-price shopping area that year, and rents there have doubled over the past five years, the report says. No other US markets were among the top 44 examined by Cushman.

Taking second place was Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay, at $1,213 per sf, followed by Avenue des Champs Elysees in Paris, which hit $922 per sf. Both retained their second- and third-place spots from the past year’s study.

The biggest riser among the markets listed was the Khan Market in New Delhi, which rose to 16th place from 24th. In 2004, Khan Market was in the 41st place.

The second-highest rents commanded in North America were Canadian cities – the Bloor Street area of Toronto and Robson Street in Vancouver – which both average $198 per sf. The report says a slowdown is not expected for this year’s results despite the slowdown in the economy.

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