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Cost of city living

The cost of city living

20 March 2019

How much can we really save on property by escaping the hustle and bustle of the city? To find out, we calculated the price difference between a square metre of a city centre apartment and a square metre of a suburban apartment across 92 countries.

By purchasing property out of the city centre, Canadians can save a solid 33%. However the price difference varies considerably depending on what city you’re buying in.

For our most expensive housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver, potential home buyers can save 20% and 24%, respectively. Maybe the commute to work isn’t so bad!

Those in Halifax can make the biggest savings by purchasing an apartment further out, with the cost of a suburban property just half the cost of one in the city (51%). However those in London, Ontario won’t save as much, with the cost of properties outside the London CBD around 12% cheaper than the city.

Property in Canada’s biggest cities

CityPrice per square meter in the city (CAD)Price per square meter outside the city centre (CAD)Percentage difference (%)
London, Ontario$2,270$2,009-12%
Windsor, Ontario$4,306$3,498-19%
Winnipeg, Manitoba$3,024$2,448-19%
Hamilton, Ontario$4,511$3,634-19%
Toronto, Ontario$10,280$8,221-20%
Vancouver, British Columbia$11,650$8,859-24%
Edmonton, Alberta$3,328$2,520-24%
Quebec City, Quebec$2,652$1,983-25%
Kitchener, Ontario$3,401$2,519-26%
Oshawa, Ontario$3,095$2,193-29%
Victoria, British Columbia$5,679$3,924-31%
Calgary, Alberta$5,099$3,312-35%
Montreal, Quebec$5,248$3,230-38%
Ottawa, Ontario$4,655$2,674-43%
Halifax, Nova Scotia$4,926$2,415-51%

The Canadian property market

While we love to complain about the exorbitant cost of property of our major cities, when compared to some of the world’s biggest cities, Toronto actually has one of the lowest price differences between the city and suburbs.

Analysis of 22 of some of the world’s biggest cities found a price difference of 41%. This makes the cost of central housing in Toronto not look so bad, given it has a compared price difference around half that, at just 20%. Torontonians might be better off living in the city after all.

Romans can enjoy the biggest amount of savings compared to other major cities. People in the outskirts can buy a property for less than half of what they’d pay in the city, with a difference of 58%.

While they weren’t included in the comparison, see how Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal stack up against some of the world’s biggest cities in the table below.

How does Toronto compare to other major cities?

CityPrice per square meter in the city (CAD)Price per square meter outside the city centre (CAD)Percentage difference (%)
Buenos Aires, Argentina$4,192$3,271-22%
Paris, France$15,943$11,586-27%
Wroclaw, Poland$2,934$2,093-29%
Sydney, Australia$13,350$8,318-38%
Los Angeles, USA$9,925$6,111-38%
Budapest, Hungary$4,245$2,560-40%
Mexico city, Mexico$3,298$1,893-43%
Madrid, Spain$7,136$4,047-43%
London, England$23,365$12,845-45%
Shanghai, China$18,770$9,705-48%
Delhi, India$2,684$1,387-48%
Istanbul, Turkey$2,019$1,003-50%
Tokyo, Japan$13,992$6,875-51%
Moscow, Russia$6,678$3,246-51%
Melbourne, Australia$8,693$6,963-20%
Toronto, Canada$10,284$8,224-20%
Manila, Philippines$3,581$1,668-53%
Bangkok, Thailand$6,594$3,189-52%
Seoul, South Korea$16,230$7,802-52%
New York, USA$18,407$8,268-55%
Rome, Italy$11,316$4,786-58%
Auckland, New Zealand$8,906$7,405-17%
Calgary, Canada$5,099$3,312-35%
Vancouver, Canada$11,650$8,859-24%
Montreal, Canada$5,248$3,230-38%

Property prices around the world

Globally, the data shows a centrally located property will boost the price by an average of 35.27%. In other words, on average, you can save around $1,574 per square meter by purchasing a home outside of the city centre.

Estonia was closest to the global average, with savings of 35.19%. Spain and Hong Kong weren’t far off, with an average saving of 36.01% and 37.04%, respectively.

The country with the biggest savings appeal is Lebanon. There’s an average price difference of 59.11% between city and suburban homes – or around $3,161.

On the other end of the spectrum, those in Poland are least likely to make savings by buying a home further out. The price per square metre is listed at $2,830 for both CBD and suburban areas.

The full list of countries

CountryPrice per square meter in the city (CAD)Price per square meter outside the city centre (CAD)Percentage difference (%)
Hong Kong$39,048$24,587-37%
Singapore$22,576$11,174-51%
Switzerland$14,789$10,372-30%
South Korea$12,837$6,766-47%
Japan$10,161$5,132-49%
Taiwan$10,224$6,369-38%
Israel$9,310$6,857-26%
Norway$8,553$6,042-29%
China$9,788$4,932-50%
Sweden$8,445$4,835-43%
France$9,180$5,663-38%
Australia$7,153$5,047-29%
Germany$7,198$4,956-31%
Austria$7,231$4,840-33%
Denmark$6,712$4,641-31%
United Kingdom$6,651$4,788-28%
Iceland$6,235$4,723-24%
Finland$6,603$4,160-37%
Netherlands$5,885$4,069-31%
Ireland$5,920$4,021-32%
Qatar$5,994$3,942-34%
New Zealand$6,204$4,834-22%
Lebanon$5,348$2,186-59%
Italy$5,171$3,149-39%
Canada$5,768$3,873-33%
Czech Republic$4,896$3,468-29%
Thailand$4,745$2,388-50%
Belgium$4,536$3,715-18%
Spain$4,329$2,769-36%
Malta$4,324$2,634-39%
Portugal$3,992$2,167-46%
United Arab Emirates$3,349$2,556-24%
Slovenia$3,621$2,725-25%
Estonia$3,513$2,276-35%
United States$3,406$2,455-28%
Uruguay$3,471$2,709-22%
Lithuania$2,962$1,869-37%
Chile$3,159$2,662-16%
Hungary$2,981$1,872-37%
Croatia$3,245$2,271-30%
Panama$2,951$2,050-31%
Poland$2,830$2,8300%
Malaysia$2,774$1,660-40%
Slovakia$2,629$2,034-23%
Vietnam$2,902$1,329-54%
Cyprus$3,105$2,282-27%
Serbia$2,534$1,491-41%
Argentina$3,179$2,349-26%
Brazil$2,599$1,763-32%
Peru$2,292$1,421-38%
Montenegro$2,204$1,559-29%
Sri Lanka$2,283$1,210-47%
Latvia$2,331$1,451-38%
Puerto Rico$2,183$1,545-29%
Greece$2,194$1,914-13%
Iran$3,057$1,626-47%
Algeria$1,955$1,123-43%
Costa Rica$2,123$1,641-23%
Morocco$2,111$1,164-45%
Romania$2,045$1,435-30%
Ecuador$1,929$1,488-23%
India$1,835$932-49%
Nepal$1,903$953-50%
Russia$1,806$1,284-29%
Philippines$2,313$1,208-48%
Albania$1,873$897-52%
Colombia$1,839$1,444-22%
Kosovo (Disputed Territory)$1,782$1,034-42%
Belarus$1,938$1,422-27%
Bosnia And Herzegovina$1,823$1,293-29%
Iraq$1,877$996-47%
Bulgaria$1,560$1,039-33%
Azerbaijan$1,797$820-54%
Indonesia$1,612$879-45%
Jordan$1,670$1,070-36%
Mexico$1,617$1,067-34%
Macedonia$1,467$1,050-28%
Saudi Arabia$1,482$984-34%
Dominican Republic$1,706$777-54%
Bangladesh$1,542$771-50%
Ukraine$1,515$805-47%
Venezuela$1,046$902-14%
Palestinian Territory$1,227$862-30%
Kazakhstan$1,351$910-33%
Turkey$1,371$770-44%
South Africa$1,379$1,013-27%
Georgia$1,238$694-44%
Moldova$1,278$849-34%
Pakistan$1,052$654-38%
Tunisia$961$641-33%
Armenia$1,625$899-45%
Egypt$836$474-43%

Methodology

The price per square metre for property in the city centre and outside the city centre for each country was taken from cost-of-living site Numbeo on two days: March 11, 2019 and March 12, 2019. Countries that didn’t show up in their table weren’t included in this analysis. Price were originally recorded in NZD and converted to CAD on March 15th. To see today’s exchange rates compare international money transfer providers.

We found the difference in price per square metre for each country. Countries were ranked based on the percentage difference.

For all media inquiries, please contact

Susannah Binsted
Global PR Manager
M: +614 48 895 553
susannah.binsted@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/susannah-binsted

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