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Singapore and Madrid named biggest movers in latest data centre rankings

However Singapore remains one of the most expensive places to buy data centre land in the world

A row of server racks lit in multi-coloured lights in a dark data centre room

Singapore and Silicon Valley ranked joint second when it comes to data centres, with Northern Virginia taking first place and expected to become the world’s first two-gigawatt market.

A new report from Cushman & Wakefield, a global real estate firm, has ranked global data centres by scrutinising them against 13 factors, including political stability, connectivity, and sustainability.

The authors analysed 30 research sources, 55 global markets, and 1,333 data centres as part of the study.

Atlanta and Chicago were ranked in joint-fourth place, followed by Hong Kong, Phoenix, Sydney and Dallas. In joint tenth place were Portland and Seattle.

The report said it comes as no surprise that Northern Virginia finished in first place as it’s the largest data centre market in the world, with excellent connectivity, attractive incentives, and low-cost power. Demand for data centres is high, with operators and tenants alike interested in expansion. The report predicts the area will become the world’s first two-gigawatt market over the next two years.

Singapore moved up from fifth place last year to joint second with Silicon Valley, despite a lack of available development land in both. This is especially surprising in Singapore's case, as it has had a ban on new data centre construction over the past year.

The report said both have strong ecosystems, excellent connectivity, consistent demand, and all major cloud services available and expanding where possible.

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Hong Kong jumped into the top 10 for the first time this year, largely due to its robust development pipeline, excellent networks, and availability of all major cloud services.

However, Madrid was by far the largest gainer in the rankings, moving up to 19 from 34, thanks to it’s low-risk location in respect to natural disasters, and its support for major cloud services.

Singapore also came first when it came to fibre connectivity and smart cities. However, it also ranked in 53rd place when it came to land price for data centres, priced at just under $2,000 per square foot at land, compared to Columbus in first place which was priced at less than $5.

The city-state has had a moratorium on building new data centres for the past year, although the government is planning to lift this soon after constructing new rules that place strict energy efficiency requirements on all new sites. Singapore’s government plans to only authorise new data centres that are best in class in terms of resource efficiency, and it will be more selective of which data centres it can accommodate.

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