The 11 cities with the most expensive skyscrapers

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London’s ‘Cheesegrater’ building.
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Oli Scarff/Getty Images

New research by Knight Frank has ranked the most expensive cities in the world to rent space in a skyscraper. Prices are into the thousands per square foot, with the world’s most expensive average almost double the next highest figure.

With Hong Kong property developers C C Land buying London’s Leadenhall Building, or ‘Cheesegrater,’ earlier this year for over £1 billion, prices globally are getting sky high.

“For the first time we have comparatively analysed the capital value of the world’s skyscrapers, which are seen by many as a bellwether for the commercial property market as a whole,” said Andrew Sim, head of global markets are Knight Frank.

Keep scrolling for the 11 most expensive cities.


11. Shanghai — $1,250 per sq foot

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Copyright Gensler

As one of the world’s financial centres, there is a high demand for space in skyscrapers in Shanghai.

Shanghai is home to China’s tallest skyscraper, Shanghai Tower, which stands at 632 meters and has 128 floors. But is has struggled to attract tenants since it was completed in 2015, in part due to the high numbers of skyscrapers China has built over the last decade.

Shanghai is one of Knight Frank’s ten Super Cities, and ranked fifth in the top ten cities by volume of overseas investors in 2016.


10. Frankfurt — $1,400 per sq foot

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Reuters

Brexit has prompted many London-based companies, especially those in the financial services, to look to Frankfurt as a potential city to relocate to.

As the EU’s financial capital, Frankfurt has an array of skyscrapers hoping to entice well-paid workers. Although the city is not pressed for space, it has witnessed a boom in skyscraper construction in recent years, and 30 of its buildings are over 100 meters tall.


9. Taipei — $1,600 per sq foot

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Prices are high in Taipei but sales have been sluggish in recent years. However, Knight Frank expects rental prices for skyscrapers in Taipei to increase more quickly over the next two years, as investors look beyond the major financial centres.

Apple opened its first store in Taiwan in the Taipei 101 building (pictured above) earlier in July.


8. Boston — $1,700 per sq foot

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Flickr/rosenkranz

Boston is experiencing what some have called the biggest building boom in its history, and the skyline is changing dramatically.

A billion dollar skyscraper standing 775 feet high has been proposed in the financial district near the Common and Public Garden, which has caused concerns green spaces being plunged into darkness.

Boston has a huge number of tall buildings currently under construction, many of which are worth billions.


7. Singapore — $1,900 per sq foot

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Joan Campderrós-i-Canas

Singapore is another one of Knight Frank’s ten Super Cities and is the fifth of the ten top cities most likely to attract private property investors.

Japan alone has invested $4.51 billion in Singaporean real estate over the last decade. Knight Frank’s analysts also say Singapore’s residential market, and in particular the outlook for collective sales, appear to be improving.

Banking firm Deka put the Chevon Tower up for sale last week, which it acquired for $420 million from Goldman Sachs in 2010, continuing a spurt in Singapore’s commercial real estate sales.


6. Sydney — $2,000 per sq foot

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Taras Vyshnya/Shutterstock

Low vacancy rates in Sydney’s commercial buildings have driven up rents in recent years. But Knight Frank’s experts predict prices for skyscrapers in Sydney will increase even more quickly in the next two years, as investors look beyond the major financial centres.

Sydney is considered a Knight Frank Super City, and ranked seventh in the top ten cities by volume of overseas investors in 2016. It is also joint (with Los Angeles) highest of all ten Super Cities for private investor transactions, which stood at 41% of the total transactions.


5. London — $2,450 per sq foot

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A shot at night of the Canary Wharf skyline. The HSBC building is on the right
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Getty

(Central) London is one of Knight Frank’s ten Super Cities, and ranked second of the top ten cities for the volume of overseas investors in 2016.

But Knight Frank says investors are beginning to look beyond London to cities in other EU countries, which are beginning to show wider and more stable economic growth, modest inflation expectations and low interest rates.

London’s ‘Cheesegrater’ building, one of the tallest in the city, was sold for over £1 billion earlier this year.


4. San Francisco — $2,500 per sq foot

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heyengel/Shutterstock

San Francisco’s dense skyline is growing ever denser. A 61 story skyscraper, the Salesforce Tower, is now the city’s tallest building and is due to be completed this summer at the cost of more than $1 billion.

The city’s Millennium Tower, a $350 million skyscraper, has sunk 16 inches and tilted two inches since it was completed in 2008, while the construction of its walls has been branded a fire risk.


3. New York (Manhattan) —$3,700 per sq foot

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Shutterstock

A major financial centre, New York has an iconic skyline. But the recent boom in construction could be under threat by height restrictions proposed by local organisations across various parts of the city.

New York is one of Knight Frank’s ten Super Cities, and ranked top for the volume of overseas investors in 2016.


2. Tokyo — $4,900 per sq foot

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Getty Images

Tokyo is one of Knight Frank’s Super Cities, and is set to acquire another 45 skyscrapers by the 2020 Olympics, marking a significant increase in construction.

Despite, or perhaps because of, Tokyo’s sky high prices, Japanese investors have pushed more into global real estate in recent years. This has also been driven by low economic growth rates and an ageing population at home.


1. Hong Kong — $8,000 per sq foot

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Ronnie Chua/Shutterstock

Hong Kong developer Henderson Land recently paid $3 billion for a five story car park, a record sum for Hong Kong and a record sum per square foot. The sale indicates the hugely competitive property market in a city that is severely lacking in space.

Hong Kong average skyscraper rental price is 60% higher than Tokyo’s. Its towers around the harbour perform a nightly light show, which is free to view.

It is one of Knight Frank’s Super Cities, and is ranked as the tenth most popular city globally for private property investment.