Are U.S. cities bargains these days on world stage? A recent survey by London-based Richard Ellis St. Quintin, a member of the Insignia Financial Group and a sister company to Insignia/ESG, continues to show that Tokyo, London and Hong Kong are the most expensive cities for office space. How does the United States rate? Midtown Manhattan is ranked fifth-most expensive with top-of-the-market occupancy costs at $88.24 ($75 per sq. ft. of usable office space plus taxes and operating expenses). This number is a $2.95 jump over the past six months, further confirming the city's vibrant state of affairs.

Los Angeles and San Francisco tied as the second-most expensive U.S. cities with total occupancy costs of $55.81 per sq. ft. and placing 10th on the worldwide listing.

Overall, the five highest-priced cities worldwide are the Inner-Central District of Tokyo ($128.40 per sq. ft.); London's West End ($118.57); the City of London ($103.35); Hong Kong ($97.34); and Midtown Manhattan ($88.24).

Given the numbers, U.S. cities seem relative bargains, eh?