IT’S CHEAPER THAN CAUSEWAY: After 11 years at the top, New York’s Fifth Avenue has lost its place as the world’s most expensive retail destination to Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay, according to a report from global real estate adviser Cushman & Wakefield.

Rents on the Asian thoroughfare average $2,630 a square foot in 2012, up 34.9 percent versus the same period last year, compared with $2,500 for Fifth Avenue — an increase of 11.1 percent.

This story first appeared in the November 14, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

But the biggest climber in the top 10 was Avenue des Champs-Elysées in Paris, which jumped two places into third spot, overtaking Tokyo’s Ginza and Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall. Rents on the Champs-Elysées now average $1,129 a square foot, representing a 30 percent jump year-on-year, boosted by the opening of Levi Strauss & Co. and the refurbishment of the Hugo Boss flagship, among others.

Global rents recorded a 4.5 percent average increase for prime locations as luxury retailers battled for space in the most coveted shopping destinations. “There has been the usual jostling for the top positions between Hong Kong and New York, but of course the real message here is the unfaltering advance of the top global cities, fuelled by a shortage of supply and the interest of international brands,” stated John Strachan, head of the global retail services at Cushman & Wakefield.