Infographic Of The Day: Which City Has The World’s Most Expensive Real Estate?

Credit Sesame offers a global perspective on America's (relatively affordable) real estate market.

Surprisingly, not New York. In fact, compared with select cities in Europe and Asia, Manhattan’s downright cheap.

According to a chart by Credit Sesame, the average cost per square foot in Manhattan is $1,068. That’s about $500 less than the average in Singapore ($1,561) and $1,000 less than the average in Oslo ($2,099). None of which compares with the eye-bulging price tag of real estate in Paris. A measly square foot in the City of Light checks in at $3,287: enough to buy a house in Detroit, with a couple large leftover.

[Click image for larger view]

The point that Credit Sesame, a money management company, wants to make is that, for all the talk about housing inflation in the United States, the global market offers some humbling perspective. Yes, New York is expensive by American standards. In Houston, the cheapest of the American cities surveyed here, you can buy a place for just $54 a square foot. But it isn’t particularly outlandish compared with other major urban centers like London ($1,590), Hong Kong ($1,118), and Beirut ($1448). Real estate in Al-Kūt, Iraq—a city southeast of Baghdad that’s arguably not the world’s most desirable place to live—costs three times that of property in Phoenix (to be fair, also not the world’s most desirable place to live).

A word on the methodology: Meticulous science, this is not. Credit Sesame gathered data covering three years and 14 sources, ranging from Factiva and Trulia to the New York Times and the Iraq Daily Times. Real estate prices, of course, fluctuate year to year and probably weren’t calculated the same way across all 14 sources, so what you have here is an imperfect comparison. Still, the lesson abides: Be glad you don’t live in Paris.

[Hat tip to Visual Loop]

Add New Comment


  • Alexandre Jouanne

    Sydney is definitely more expensive than Paris, but not for real estate for sure. Accomodation in Sydney is alright while its going crazy in Paris!

  • Craig Ashley Russell

    Can the infographic of the day for tomorrow be called 'Most inaccurate infographics of the day'. Hint; this one should be at the top. And by the way, Australia is the largest island on the planet, smallest continent, is about the same size as the US ( 3.5mil v 2.9mil sq miles). has just 7% the population of the US and a property market that rivals NY. 
    This piece of crap is nothing but pretty pictures. Actually, not that pretty.

  • Chris Free

    How is the lowest in the world Santiago Chile @ $160 when the graphic in the US shows the MEDIAN is $158 and the lowest is $54.  

  • Emilioco

    interesting that canada doesn't even factor into this infographic/discussion - what about vancouver (exploding due to pacific rim etc.), toronto or montreal?  but they have lisbon and chile...mmm.  guess housing is free in canada, like their health care.

  • carrano

    You are definitely a New Yorker. I have lived in many cities in the U.S., including New York City and Phoenix and I would live in Phoenix again in a heart beat whereas I don't even want to visit NY again.

  • susie k

    the price quoted for paris just seems very wrong.  i've lived in nyc, san francisco, and i'm currently living in paris.  you can get a one bedroom or studio even in a prime arrondissement  (1st, 3rd, 7th, 8th) for 800-1000 euro/mo.  you can't get that in sf or nyc.  even in the prime districts, a 2 bedroom apt will run about 2000-2800 euro/mo, which is still way cheaper than nyc and most of sf.  

  • clare minges

    I have to agree with Callicles, I live in NY and just returned from spending a year in Paris. You can rent a tiny apartment in a central arrondissement of Paris for €600-700. An apartment that cheap doesn't exist in NYC. They do, however, push the boundaries for what qualifies as an apartment. 100 square feet for a chambre de bonne with window and a shower, no toilet, is what you'd get.

  • Liscariotes

    I was wonder why don´t you guys surveyed Brazil (Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo). Definitly, these places are among the most expensive

  • Raul Reis

    I mean it is more expensive in Lisbon 3-5 times.
    In a nice neighborhood € 2800 and € 1500 in a modest place.

  • Raul Reis

    I realy don't know about the other citys but the price for Lisbon it is so wrong, at least 3 to 5 times more expensive....

  • Seriously?

    WOW, until now I really have enjoyed looking at the Infographic of the Day, but this piece could not be more poorly researched. Additonally, when was the last time anyone was heard talking about "housing inflation in the United States"? Seriously? And Suzanne (I am assuming you live in New York from your comments), have you ever traveled west of the Hudson? That was a nice dig at all your Phoenix, AZ readers. 

  • Bbaker6212

    Buenos Aires is included but not Sao Paulo or Rio?  That makes no sense since Brazil is the economic leader in South America.  More so considering the (supposed) housing bubble going on in those two cities.

  • kuyakew

    new york only counts as manhattan? what about the other 4 boroughs that make up the city and hold most of its residents? of course the numbers will be extremely high. BS