The cost of city living

70%Country

21 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 a home out of the city centre, Kiwis can save a solid 22%. However, the price difference varies considerably depending on what city you’re buying in.

Those in Napier can make the biggest savings by purchasing a home further out, with a price difference of 29%. Aucklanders can also save a pretty penny. By purchasing a property outside the city centre, they can save an average of $1,642 per square metre – a price difference of 17%. Maybe the commute to work isn’t so bad!

Interestingly, properties outside Hamilton CBD are actually 10% more expensive than city centre homes. This is the only major New Zealand city where this was the case.

Property in New Zealand’s biggest cities

CityPrice per square meter in the city (NZD)Price per square meter outside the city centre (NZD)Percentage difference (%)
Hamilton$3,150$3,46510%
Hastings$3,200$3,000-6%
Rotorua$3,600$3,317-8%
Palmerston North$3,923$3,423-13%
Dunedin$4,600$3,950-14%
Nelson$6,000$5,000-17%
Auckland$9,740$8,098-17%
Christchurch$4,979$3,665-26%
Wellington$6,671$4,876-27%
Napier$4,750$3,392-29%

The Kiwi 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, Auckland actually has the lowest price difference between the city and suburbs.

Analysis of 22 of some of the world’s biggest cities found a price difference around 41%. This makes central housing in Auckland not look so bad, given it has a compared price difference of just 17%. Aucklanders 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 Christchurch, Wellington and Napier stack up against some of the world’s biggest cities in the table below.

How does Auckland compare to other major cities?

CityPrice per square meter in the city (NZD)Price per square meter outside the city centre (NZD)Percentage difference (%)
Buenos Aires, Argentina$4,584$3,577-22%
Paris, France$17,436$12,671-27%
Wroclaw, Poland$3,209$2,289-29%
Sydney, Australia$14,600$9,097-38%
Los Angeles, USA$10,855$6,684-38%
Budapest, Hungary$4,643$2,800-40%
Mexico city, Mexico$3,607$2,071-43%
Madrid, Spain$7,805$4,426-43%
London, England$25,556$14,049-45%
Shanghai, China$20,530$10,615-48%
Delhi, India$2,936$1,517-48%
Istanbul, Turkey$2,208$1,097-50%
Tokyo, Japan$15,304$7,520-51%
Moscow, Russia$7,304$3,550-51%
Bangkok, Thailand$7,212$3,488-52%
Seoul, South Korea$17,752$8,534-52%
Manila, Philippines$3,917$1,825-53%
Melbourne, Australia$9,507$7,615-19.90%
Toronto, Canada$11,247$8,994-20%
New York, USA$20,135$9,044-55%
Rome, Italy$12,378$5,235-58%
Auckland, New Zealand$9,740$8,098-17%
Christchurch, New Zealand$4,979$3,665-26%
Wellington, New Zealand$6,671$4,876-27%
Napier, New Zealand$4,750$3,392-29%

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 $1,728 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% between city and suburban homes – or around $3,470.

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 $3,106 for both CBD and suburban areas.

The full list of countries

CountryPrice per square meter in the city (NZD)Price per square meter outside the city centre (NZD)Percentage difference (%)
Hong Kong$42,866$26,990-37%
Singapore$24,783$12,266-51%
Switzerland$16,235$11,386-30%
South Korea$14,092$7,427-47%
Japan$11,154$5,634-49%
Taiwan$11,224$6,992-38%
Israel$10,220$7,528-26%
Norway$9,389$6,633-29%
China$10,745$5,414-50%
Sweden$9,271$5,308-43%
France$10,077$6,216-38%
Australia$7,852$5,540-29%
Germany$7,901$5,440-31%
Austria$7,938$5,313-33%
Denmark$7,368$5,095-31%
United Kingdom$7,301$5,256-28%
Iceland$6,844$5,185-24%
Finland$7,249$4,566-37%
Netherlands$6,460$4,467-31%
Ireland$6,499$4,414-32%
Qatar$6,580$4,327-34%
New Zealand$6,810$5,306-22%
Lebanon$5,870$2,400-59%
Italy$5,676$3,457-39%
Canada$6,331$4,252-33%
Czech Republic$5,374$3,807-29%
Thailand$5,209$2,622-50%
Belgium$4,979$4,079-18%
Spain$4,752$3,040-36%
Malta$4,747$2,892-39%
Portugal$4,382$2,379-46%
United Arab Emirates$3,676$2,806-24%
Slovenia$3,975$2,992-25%
Estonia$3,856$2,499-35%
United States$3,739$2,695-28%
Uruguay$3,810$2,974-22%
Lithuania$3,251$2,052-37%
Chile$3,468$2,923-16%
Hungary$3,272$2,055-37%
Croatia$3,562$2,493-30%
Panama$3,239$2,251-31%
Poland$3,106$3,1060%
Malaysia$3,046$1,822-40%
Slovakia$2,886$2,232-23%
Vietnam$3,177$1,455-54%
Cyprus$3,408$2,505-27%
Serbia$2,781$1,636-41%
Argentina$3,489$2,578-26%
Brazil$2,853$1,935-32%
Peru$2,516$1,560-38%
Montenegro$2,419$1,711-29%
Sri Lanka$2,506$1,328-47%
Latvia$2,558$1,593-38%
Puerto Rico$2,396$1,696-29%
Greece$2,408$2,101-13%
Iran$3,356$1,784-47%
Algeria$2,146$1,232-43%
Costa Rica$2,330$1,801-23%
Morocco$2,317$1,277-45%
Romania$2,245$1,575-30%
Ecuador$2,117$1,633-23%
India$2,014$1,023-49%
Nepal$2,089$1,046-50%
Russia$1,982$1,409-29%
Philippines$2,539$1,325-48%
Albania$2,056$984-52%
Colombia$2,019$1,584-22%
Kosovo (Disputed Territory)$1,956$1,135-42%
Belarus$2,127$1,560-27%
Bosnia And Herzegovina$2,001$1,419-29%
Iraq$2,060$1,093-47%
Bulgaria$1,712$1,140-33%
Azerbaijan$1,973$900-54%
Indonesia$1,769$965-45%
Jordan$1,833$1,174-36%
Mexico$1,775$1,171-34%
Macedonia$1,610$1,152-28%
Saudi Arabia$1,627$1,080-34%
Dominican Republic$1,873$853-54%
Bangladesh$1,693$846-50%
Ukraine$1,663$883-47%
Venezuela$1,148$990-14%
Palestinian Territory$1,347$946-30%
Kazakhstan$1,483$999-33%
Turkey$1,505$845-44%
South Africa$1,514$1,112-27%
Georgia$1,359$761-44%
Moldova$1,403$932-34%
Pakistan$1,155$718-38%
Tunisia$1,055$703-33%
Armenia$1,784$986-45%
Egypt$918$520-43%

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: 11 March 2019 and 12 March 2019. Countries that didn’t show up in their table weren’t included in this analysis. All prices were recorded in NZD.
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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