UK - London remains the most expensive office market in the world, according to the latest research by London-based global commercial property investment consultants, CB Richard Ellis (CBRE).

In its Global Market Rents Survey 2008 - which tracks office markets' rental movements in terms of highest and fastest growing occupancy rates in the world's major financial centres - the top 10 featured London twice as the West End continued to top the list while the City of London came in at sixth place.

Moscow was listed as the second most expensive city, while Tokyo's Inner and Outer Central districts were cited as third and fifth - sandwiching India's premier financial centre, Mumbai, in fourth place.

Other than London and Moscow, the only other European centre to figure in the top 10 was Paris at number eight.

Not surprisingly, Dubai, which has seen an explosion in its property markets in recent years with huge developments, entered the survey's top 10 for the first time at number 10. Singapore took ninth place with an occupancy rate of 86 per cent.

Moscow's move up to second place was the result of a 93% occupancy rate, CBRE claimed, pushing well-developed and highly-regarded markets like New York and Hong Kong out of the top 10.

Manhattan, New York's central borough, came in at 13 though it remained the US's most costly office market.

CBRE claimed with Moscow, Singapore, Dubai and lesser-known cities like Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City - which with 94% had the highest overall occupancy rate - the office market is continuing to defy the current global economic and financial crisis, but developing nations are beginning to show the way. 

"Office occupancy costs are continuing to defy sluggish economic conditions and the credit crunch, as they rise faster than global inflation,' explained Raymond Torto, the firm's global chief economist.

"These cost increases are dominated by emerging markets, caused by both supply and demand imbalance and the depreciation of the dollar relative to local currencies," he added.