East 57th Street in Manhattan edges out Tokyo's Ginza and a neighboring stretch of Fifth Avenue as the world's most expensive street, according to a rental survey released this week.

The survey, which charted rents for the ground floor of stores, found that the average rate on East 57th is $425 a square foot, compared with $375 on Fifth Avenue between 52nd and 58th streets.

Retail rents on the Ginza average $400 a square foot.

Last year, in a survey of American shopping streets, Fifth Avenue came out on top. Michael Hirschfeld, whose real estate firm compiled the survey, said the shift was caused by new space coming on the market on East 57th and construction that has tied up some space on Fifth Avenue.

Rounding out the top 10: Madison Avenue between 60th and 79th streets, New York; Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, Calif; Michigan Avenue, Chicago; Bond Street, London; Worth Avenue, Palm Beach, Fla.; Rue de Faubourg St. Honore, Paris; and Bloor Street, Toronto.

A different type of real estate is expensive in London.

A 61-year lease on a two-car garage in the fashionable Mayfair district of London is up for grabs for slightly more than $300,000, said real estate agent Steve Truman of Westside Estates.

The 19-by-13-foot garage, equipped with a light bulb and an electrical outlet, could house one medium-sized Rolls-Royce and one medium-sized Lamborghini, Truman said.

"It's worth what somebody will pay for it," Truman said.

A Middle Eastern dealer offered $211,000 but was turned down by the owner, he said.

Property prices in London have soared in recent years. In February 1986, a closet converted into a studio in an apartment building opposite Harrods department store in Knightsbridge sold for $54,750. The historic Savage Mill, a 19th-century textile mill in Savage, in Howard County, has launched the second phase of a three-part, $15 million renovation. When fully renovated, the mill will house antique and home furnishing stores, other specialty stores, restaurants, a banquet and meeting facility and space for local artisans.

The complex of brick and stone buildings was built between 1822 and 1916 and were used for manufacturing cotton duck sailcloth, which was used for such varied things as World War I tents and silent movie backdrops. IN THE BUSINESS ... The D.C. Office of Human Rights recently received a $77,500 grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to implement a fair housing community outreach and educational media campaign. The campaign will include fair housing training for real estate agents, property managers, government and private housing organizations ... The Building Owners and Managers Association International reports that the national office occupancy rate at the end of 1987 was 80.1 percent, a slight decline from the 80.4 percent level for the first half of 1987. The office occupancy review is the largest survey in the industry, reporting on 54 metropolitan areas representing 2.1 billion square feet of office space in the U.S. and Canada ... Long Signature Homes Inc. sold or rented 741 housing units in Northern Virginia and Maryland last year for a total volume of $98.5 million. The average price of the 415 homes and condominiums sold by Long was $196,005 ... The National Association of Realtors will present a seminar on "Home Construction: Taking a Closer Look," on March 4 in Silver Spring. The seminar is designed to give real estate agents a better knowledge of construction shortcomings. Call 383-1247 for more information ... The Realtors Land Institute will present a two-day seminar on subdivision development Feb. 16-17 at the University of Maryland. Call 774-5900 for more information ... The Maryland Improvement Contractors Association gave awards to five residential and commercial remodeling contractors recently for the best remodeling work in the state during 1987. Winners were Fireside Home Remodeling of Hagerstown, and Welsh Construction and Remodeling, Associated Building Products, Stuever Brother, Eccles & Rouse and DD Air Conditioning and Heating, all of Baltimore ... STOK Homes, Inc., a European home-building company, has opened operations in the United States and a headquarters at Tysons Corner.

PERSONNEL FILE ... Tracey DeBoissiere has been named executive director of the Northern Virginia Apartment Association ... Charles B. Carter has joined Centennial Investment Corp. as vice president and chief operating officier ... Dennis R. Cronk, a real estate broker from Roanoke, has been named 1988 president of the Virginia Association of Realtors ... Lois N. Dacrema has been named executive vice president of the Mechanical Contractors D.C. Association ... F. Alden Murray, Jr., a Bethesda real estate agent, was awarded the Clinton B. Snyder Trophy by the Commercial-Investment Real Estate Council for the best commercial transaction of the year ... Spaulding & Slye has promoted Larry R. Godla and Reed Stvan START NOTE cq END NOTEto vice president.