Amidst the sub-prime crisis, falling house prices, strengthening dollar and turmoil in the financial markets, New York’s Fifth Avenue is set to continue to thrive.

These were the views of Gene Spiegelman, executive director, Cushman & Wakefield New York at the launch of Cushmans’ latest Main Streets Across the World report at MAPIC.

The research found Fifth Avenue to be the world’s most expensive retail address with prime rents around $1,850 (£1,242)/sq ft per annum – an increase of 23% on 2007.

Ground level retail rents, said Spiegelman, actually broke the $2,300 (£1,544)/sq ft barrier with the lease to Abercrombie & Fitch at 666 Fifth Avenue.

But Spiegelman predicted that retail rents would continue to rise, or at least remain stable, on Fifth Avenue due to limited supply.

‘On Fifth Avenue between 49th and 58th Streets, there will only be one store to become vacant during 2009,’ said Spiegelman.

Spiegelman added that the retailers on Fifth Avenue were still able to afford the high rents.

‘There are stores of 2,500 sq m that have exceeded annual sales of $100m – that’s $4,000 (£2,676)/sq ft. Some have even surpassed $200m.’