Kenya's capital, Nairobi, played second fiddle to the UAE's state of Dubai, and saw 9.9pc growth in rental prices - although both cities slowed in the second quarter of 2014.
Knight Frank's report, the Prime Global Rental Index, which tracked rental rises over the year to the end of June, found that growth in both leading cities were slowed by a drop in economic sentiment
Tel Aviv, Tokyo and Guangzhou came third, fourth and fifth in the index, respectively.
Although 14.1pc growth was a record for Dubai over the 12 months to June, it saw a slowing in the pace of rental hikes.
This dramatic rise may now level off as prime rents continue to outpace wage inflation, in turn raising concerns about affordability, and leading some to consider buying instead of renting.
Prices in Nairobi for prime apartments in secured compounds have seemingly reached a ceiling after an annual rise of 9.9pc.
"Prices were driven by the diplomatic community wanting the best concierge service and heightened security," said Kate Everett-Allen, a partner at Knight Frank. "But increased security fears in Kenya have dampened demand."
#3. Tel Aviv
Rising house prices and record mortgage lending is pushing some potential buyers into the luxury rental market.
Strengthening demand – both international and domestic – set against a backdrop of limited supply is heightening affordability constraints.
Prices in Tel Aviv rose by 9.6pc in the year to June 2014 whilst wages in Israel increased by only 2.9pc on average according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.
The capital of Japan saw prime rental growth of 9.6pc.
This was partly due to wage rises, the announcement that Toyko will host the 2020 Olympic Games, and a result of the rise in consumption tax (in April 2014) from 5pc to 8pc, which has pushed some ‘would-be’ purchasers into the city's lettings market.
If Prime Minister Abe continues with his plans to use fiscal stimulus and monetary easing to reduce deflationary pressures prime rents may strengthen further in the remainder of 2014.
The lack of new supply, as well as the scale of wealth creation in Guangzhou, are the key determinants behind the city’s 4.4pc annual increase in prime rents.
As house prices have started to slide across China’s tier 1 and 2 cities, demand from investors looking for a buy-to-let property has weakened. Instead, developers are increasingly offering promotions to investors. This has limited the availability of prime rental stock in the last year.
London, Beijing and Singapore came 10th, 11th, 12th, but are expected to surge in the 2015.
"The world's financial centres are starting to climb back up the rankings," said Kate Everett-Allen, partner at Knight Frank, "as these economies improve."
London has become the global centre for corporate relocation, she continued, with legal and financial professions settling in the city this year in larger numbers than the technology industry.
House price cooling measures in Asia, such as restrictions to second home ownership and the requirement for a larger mortgage deposit, have pushed people into rented accommodation especially at the luxury end.
Hong Kong rental prices are also expected to soar over the next year, pushing the city back into the top 12, as a new stamp duty on foreign owners will force more ex-pats to rent.
"With interest rates likely to rise in the US and UK in 2015, economic growth largely stagnant in Europe and stringent cooling measures still in place across much of Asia, we expect prime rental markets will benefit from quieter activity in the world’s luxury sales markets during the remainder of 2014," Ms Everett-Allen said.