City Guides


New report compares key costs in eight top global cities

by Ray Clancy on May 18, 2016

Housing costs, transport and commuting times can effect a decision on where to stay when moving to a new city and now a new report compares eight of the top cities in the world.

The findings show that although Los Angeles and Jakarta compare favourably to Hong Kong when it comes to property costs, commuting times can be cumbersome. Rome and Shanghai are all-round performers offering both comparatively low housing costs and short commutes.

The decision whether to buy a property in the city centre with a minimal commute or a more affordable property on the outskirts where travel costs tend to be higher, is one that expats toy with.

new york city

The new analysis from international real estate firm Knight Frank measures the time taken to travel to each city’s Central Business District (CBD) from the city’s respective prime residential area, for example in London from Marylebone to The City, and the most common method of transport adopted by commuters.

Comparing the world’s top three financial centres of New York marginally edges London at £1,723 per square foot and £1,800 respectively on housing costs and commuters also enjoy a significantly shorter journey to Manhattan’s CBD at 10 minutes than they do to The City of London at 25 minutes. However, the report points out that with the introduction of Crossrail in London in 2018 New York’s competitive advantage is likely to narrow.

In Hong Kong, Mid-Levels Central is home to the highest housings costs of all the prime markets analysed at £2,716 per square foot and a typical commute to the CBD takes 15 minutes with where walking combined with a bus journey is the most common mode of transport.

In Rome it would take you roughly five minutes, the shortest travel time of all eight cities, to travel from the prime district of Rione Colonna to the city’s CBD. The cost of housing is also significantly less at £807 per square foot.

Shanghai also compares favourably, here the journey from the upmarket area of Xintiandi at £943 per square foot to The People’s Square, would take only 10 minutes by metro.

The three cities which offer the lowest housing costs in the report survey are Jakarta at £493 per square foot in Menteng, Los Angeles at £669 per square foot in Beverly Hills and Mumbai at £750 per square foot in Napean Sea Road. They are also the only cities in which driving is seen to be the most common travel method to work.

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