The 20 Most Expensive Cities to Buy a Home in the World

Where you choose to live can make a significant difference to the price you pay for a property. This is often due to the demand for properties in an area and the amenities, schools, work opportunities and leisure activities available. Other factors that can influence the price of homes are transportation links, environmental problems in an area, future development plans, and crime rates. Properties in cities are often more expensive per square meter than those in rural areas. However, there are some cities that are more expensive to live in than others. There are different ways of calculating how expensive a place is to live. While some people calculate this using a ratio of earnings compared to property price, this list is based on the price of property per square meter. Here are the top 20 most expensive places to buy a home in the world.

1. Monaco

The average price per square meter of property in Monaco is a whopping $60,114. This makes it significantly more expensive than anywhere in the world and the best place to search for a property that offers true luxury. Many of the richest people in the world have properties in Monaco, either as their primary residence or a second home.

2. London, United Kingdom

As the capital city of England, London is an extremely desirable place to live. It is home to many of the major UK tourist attractions and the headquarters of many major companies are based in this city. These are just two of the factors that attract people to the city and drive up the prices. The price per square meter for property in London is approximately $34,531. Bizarrely, even though demand for properties in London is so high, there is a large number of houses and apartments that are empty for most of the year. This is because the rich and famous like to have a base in the capital but do not use it as their full time residence.

3. Hong Kong, Hong Kong Island

The low supply and high demand, the tax friendly economy, land development and mainland developers are all factors that contribute to the high cost of property in Hong Kong. Prices for property in Hong Kong Island currently cost an estimated $25,551. An apartment of 120 square meters would rent for over $7,000 per month.

4. New York City, United States

The cost of buying property in New York means that owning their own place is something that many people living in the city can only dream about. New York is a city with a great vibe, excellent shopping areas, high rates of employment and plenty of activities for leisure time. These elements combined make it a desirable place to live. As the demand is high, properties are at a premium. This has driven prices for New York property to a high of $17, 191 per square meter. Just like London, many properties are empty for large portions of the year as rich people want to have a base in the city but prefer to live full-time elsewhere.

5. Tokyo, Japan

You can expect to pay around $16,322 per square meter if you want to buy a property in Japan’s capital city. One of the simplest explanations for the high cost of living in Tokyo is simply that they have limited land and the city is highly populated. However, there are many other factors that come into play. There is a certain ‘snob’ element of wanting to live in the capital over other areas of the country. Some reports suggest that cartels, corruption and collusion have also played a part in the soaring property market in Tokyo.

6. Moscow, Russia

Inflation in Russia has significantly impacted on house prices and saw them rise significantly although they are now on the decline. This does not mean that this has become an affordable place to live as it is still ranked in sixth position on the world’s most expensive places to live. The price per square meter for property in Moscow is around $16,021. After Moscow, St. Petersburg is the most expensive city to live in Russia.

7. Mumbai, India

While the overall real estate market in India is slowing down, this is not the case in Mumbai where property prices are soaring. One of the reasons for the property prices is the geography. It is surrounded by water on three sides. Not only does this make it appealing to prospective residents, it also means that opportunities for development are limited putting properties in high demand. In this city, you can expect to pay $15,525 per square meter for a property. Alternatively, you can rent a 120 square meter apartment for around $2,275.

8. Geneva, Switzerland

Swiss Nationals want to live in Geneva for the work opportunities, the cosmopolitan atmosphere, and the quality of living. People looking for second home are also attracted to this city. However, buying a property in Geneva comes at a cost. If you are looking for a property in Geneva you will pay $15,495 per square meter.

9. Vienna, Austria

In the last six years, property prices have risen in Vienna by around 39%. Similarly, the cost of renting properties has also risen by approximately 21%. There are not enough properties available to meet demand and this is the predominant cause of such high price rises in the city. Property in Vienna now costs $14,952 per square meter on average.

10. Paris, France

Paris is the most expensive place to live in France and is the tenth most expensive place to live in the world. Inflation in the property market is continuing in Paris with prices rising by 4.4% in just one year. A square meter of property in Paris is valued at $14,100. The central neighborhoods in the city are the most expensive places to buy a home while it is possible to purchase properties for less in the suburbs of the city.

11. Singapore

The population of Singapore is continuing to rise but developers are struggling to meet the increased demand for properties. This is significantly impacting on the price of properties that are available. If you are determined to live in Singapore, then you can expect to pay the price for doing so. The average price per square meter of property in Singapore is worth $13,748 while renting a 120-square meter apartment would set you back $3,498 a month.

12. Tel Aviv, Israel

As a country that is experiencing ongoing political unrest, it may seem surprising that Tel Aviv is such a desirable place to live, yet this city saw property prices rise by 102% between 2006 and 2015. There is a short supply of properties in this city due to a low volume of construction. Two other factors that have impacted on property prices are the lack of investment options in Israel and the expansionary monetary policies of the central bank. These factors have created a situation where property now costs $12,742 per square meter to buy or $3,274 per month to rent a 120-square meter apartment.

13. Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm is the cultural and financial center of Sweden so it is one of the best places to live in this country. The reality of the Swedish property market is that negative interest rates have created a situation where house prices have risen dramatically. This could potentially lead to a housing bubble in this country. Reports suggest that the market prices are rising by as much as 10% year on year. The place most affected by the price rises in Stockholm. Buying a property in this city now costs $9,439 per square meter.

14. Toronto, Canada

Toronto is a diverse and inclusive city where it is possible to find work in almost any industry. The city offers a fantastic social life and there are plenty of things to see and do. This makes Toronto a desirable place to live for a wide range of people but it is also one of the reasons why it is so expensive to buy a property there. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, the average house price in Toronto in 2017 is $825,00. In terms of the price per square meter of property, you can expect to pay $9,409. Renting is just as expensive if this is your preferred option with a 120-square meter apartment costing in the region of $3,740 per month.

15. Helsinki, Finland

If Helsinki is the residence of your choice, you will need to pay around $8,923 per square meter of property. Although the housing market in Finland is relatively stable, there have been some price hikes in recent years. In Helsinki, it really depends on the type of property you wish to buy. In 2016, the cost of buying an older property in the city rose by 2.8% while terraced houses rose by 2.4% and the price of apartments increased by 3%. Experts blame a lack of construction and development in the city during the 1980s and 1990s for the housing situation in Helsinki now.

16. Amsterdam, Netherlands

In the last decade, Amsterdam property prices soared. However, they are now stabilizing. Despite this, Amsterdam is still the 16th most expensive place in the world to buy property. Buying a home in this city costs $8,112 per square meter while renting an apartment with 120 square meters of floor space will cost approximately $3,660 per month. Like many other major cities across the globe, the high demand for properties and the low availability of homes and a lack of development is the biggest cause of such high prices.

17. Rome, Italy

Rome is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and has many appealing features that attract people to live there. Despite being the 17th most expensive place in the world to buy property, there has actually been a decline in Rome’s housing market in recent years. In fact, between 2008 and 2016, house prices dropped by 16.9% in Italy as a whole. The decrease in prices has led to an increase in property sales across the country. However, Rome is still an expensive place to buy your home as a property in Rome costs $7,859 per square meter.

18. Sydney, Australia

The wonderful climate, fantastic work opportunities, the culture and the lifestyle make Sydney a popular place to live; not only with Australian nationals, but also with people emigrating to Australia. Living in this amazing city does, however, come at a price; $7,250 to be exact. One reason given by experts for the high prices in Sydney is the urban containment policies. These are the government’s way of preventing cities from sprawling. Instead, they encourage developments of greater density within the city. This leads to both higher land prices and higher house prices. Even renting in Sydney is expensive and people living in a rental apartment of 120 square meters will likely pay $3,182 per month.

19. Taipei, Taiwan

Buying a property in Taipei will cost around $7,112 per square meter. There are several factors that have contributed to Taipei becoming one of the most unaffordable places in the world to live. The first is that the average household income has remained stagnant making property out of reach for many people. The second is the high prices of land and the lack of availability of land. This has resulted in low levels of development in Taiwan’s capital. In turn, this means that there is higher demand than there is supply in terms of property.

20. Auckland, New Zealand

There are very few cities across the globe where the average house price exceeds $1 million, but that is the case in Auckland, New Zealand. This is more than double the average house price in 2007. The price per square meter for a property in this city is around $7,082 putting Auckland in 20th position on the list of the most expensive places in the world to live. Auckland is considered a ‘global’ city, so it is where many people head to establish their career. Although this has contributed to the surge in house prices, it is not the only factor. It is also a desirable place to live because of the diversity, the culture, and the vibrant atmosphere. A further cause of property inflation is the increase in immigration to the island, with many immigrants choosing to live in New Zealand’s capital. This has led to a significant increase in the demand for property.


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