New York City Still World's Top Financial Center

February 17, 2021
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As part of our ongoing efforts to provide you with relevant and important market information, please find an update from Knight Frank regarding the Coronavirus.

The two horse race

Every year, advisory firm Duff & Phelps surveys 250 senior bosses across banking, hedge funds, asset management and private equity to establish a hierarchy of the globe's financial centers. Knight Frank will publish their own ranking from the perspective of the world's High-Net-Worth community in the 2021 Wealth Report shortly.

New York, which has topped the Duff & Phelps table since 2019, grew its lead over London slightly this year, with 60% of respondents selecting it as the world's top financial center, followed by London at 31% - down from 34% a year earlier. Those are fairly small moves in numbers, but the rest of the survey makes for interesting reading in light of symbolic moves in share trading to the EU mainland in recent weeks.

Illustrating the scale of the lead held by London and New York, Hong Kong and Singapore were cited as the top hub by just 2.2% of those surveyed, while the number citing Paris or Frankfurt was "negligible".

Renters return, New York edition

One unique aspect of the Covid-19 crisis has been the scope to which trends in various global residential markets have moved in tandem - the 'urban exodus' to find more space is probably the most notable.

Last week Tom Bill looked at movement among renters back into urban locations in London, attracted by cheaper rents and the ability to walk to work. Kate Everett- Allen and Jonathan Miller spot the same trend in New York.

In 2020, median rents in Manhattan reached their lowest level in a decade and as a result, by the end of the year new lease signings had rebounded to their highest since the global financial crisis. The story is the same in Brooklyn. Median rents dipped from $2,987 to $2,600 in the year to January 2021, with new leases (excluding renewals) surging 46% over the same period.

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