And you thought NYC offices were expensive: You’ll pay more in Hong Kong and Sao Paulo

New York real estate a bargain? Yes, says Forbes, which reports on the most expensive places in the world to rent an office.

Citing CBRE tallies, Midtown New York is the world’s 18th most expensive place to get office space. Hong Kong (Central) comes is number one, London’s West End is number two and Tokyo is number three. The Brazilian cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro also commanded pricier commercial rents than Midtown Manhattan. Forbes did not publish the cities’average rent prices.

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The magazine wrote that office markets have transitioned from contraction to growth, but that most of the growth has happened outside of Europe and America.

The Asia Pacific region posted a 7.8 percent increase in office occupancy costs in the first quarter of 2012 year-over-year. Thje Americas had a 5 percent year-over-year increase, largely thanks to Brazil’s growth. Europe, the Middle East and Africa posted 0.4 percent gains.

As The Real Deal reported, Midtown Manhattan offices as of June 2012 have average asking rents of $62.70 per square foot, up slightly from the May 2012 average of $62.29. [Forbes]