Sydney has come in third place as one of the world’s most expensive shopping destinations to rent a shop, according to a new CBRE report.

Meanwhile, Melbourne and Brisbane have come in eight and ninth spot respectively, but New York still remains in number one spot.

The CBRE survey of the world’s most expensive global retail cities indicated that total rent at global level has flattened quarter on quarter (-0.6 per cent). The eurozone crisis has had an effect on consumer confidence resulting in rents levelling off in all global regions for this third quarter of 2011.

Sydney (US$1,224 per square foot per annum) was one of three Australian cities in the top 10 ranks where it retained third position. Melbourne’s rent came in at US$776 per square foot per annum with Brisbane charging an average rent of US$618 per square feet per annum.

Joshua Loudoun, CBRE regional director, retail services, attributed Australia’s high rankings to the limited amount of prime retail space available and the competition from new market entrants.

“Over the course of the next 12 months we would expect that the Australian markets would slip slightly down the rankings due to numerous challenges faced by domestic retailers, in particular the record levels of outbound tourism, together with increasing labour and utility costs that have placed further pressure on occupancy costs,” he said.

Despite the weakening consumer confidence levels seen in a wide range of global markets, retailers continued to expand their store networks to gain market share in this third quarter, the CBRE said.

Asia in particular has seen significant levels of occupier demand in destinations such as Singapore, China and India, while retailers in the US and Western Europe, in general, remain more cautious.

“Retailers continue to expand in most key regional markets in Asia, with major international groups in the fast fashion and luxury sectors being particularly aggressive. In Hong Kong, retailers across all sectors are looking to expand their footprint to tap into high levels of spending by tourists from PRC,” Loudoun said.

“In Australia, global brands continue to open new stores, however many domestic retailers are consolidating as shoppers flock to the new foreign entrants in the market.”