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UK city centre flats cost twice as much as in the US and £100,000 more than Europe

  • UK is the 16th most expensive nation in the world for a city centre flat
  • Brits could buy five flats in central Manchester for the price of one in London (£144,000 v £788,000)
  • Hong Kong is the world’s priciest country (£1.3 million on average), while Egypt is the cheapest (£27,000)

17 September, 2018, LONDON –

Research from personal finance comparison website reveals that the average price for a two-bed city centre flat in the UK is £227,000 – almost £100,000 more than in Europe (£131,000) and over double the US average of £111,000.

With a cost per square metre of £3,839, the UK is the 16th most expensive nation(s) in the world for a central flat, with prices 52% above the global average.

London is far more expensive than the rest of the UK, with a central flat generally costing buyers over four times more than the UK average. The average price of a two-bed flat in the capital is £788,000, or £13,328 per square metre, making it the world’s second most expensive city to buy an apartment in, after Hong Kong.

However, August saw the biggest month-on-month drop in UK house prices in six years, fuelled by uncertainty over the housing market and Brexit, while BofE Governor Mark Carney has suggested that a ‘no deal’ Brexit could see house prices drop by a third. So both London and the UK may slide down these rankings.

Globally, the costliest country for buying a city centre flat is Hong Kong, where a two-bed apartment would set you back £1,280,000. This is followed by Singapore at £781,000 and Switzerland at £543,000.

After Hong Kong, London and Singapore, the most expensive cities in the world for urban flats are Beijing at £676,000, Zurich at £670,000 and Shanghai at £667,000.

The cheapest nation of the 91 countries with available data is Egypt. Here a two-bed city centre flat only costs £27,000 on average. The cheapest city is Sumy in Ukraine, where a flat would cost £20,000.

The 10 most expensive countries for city centre flats

CountryAverage price per square metre for city centre flatPrice for two-bed flat
Hong Kong£21,727£1,280,000
South Korea£7,402£438,000

To see the full list of average flat prices by country and city, alongside an interactive map, visit:

Speaking about the findings, Jon Ostler, CEO at said: “These statistics show that prices for a city centre flat in the UK are generally comparable to our European and global counterparts. London is very much the exception to this rule though, with a central flat being out of reach for almost all young Brits trying to get a foot on the property ladder.

“If you’re a first-time buyer looking to purchase a flat or house, there are various ways that you can get assistance. Help to buy schemes allow you to earn tax-free interest, and the government also adds 25% to your savings (up to £3,000), which is a no-brainer if you’re serious about purchasing. People are increasingly looking at shared-ownership as well. This allows you to purchase part of a flat from a housing association and will result in a lower deposit and monthly payments. You can then purchase more of the flat as and when you’re able to.”



The price per square metre for a city-centre flat in each country was taken from cost-of-living site Numbeo. Countries not included in its table weren’t used in this analysis.

The median area of a two-bed flat in the UK, according to a 2010 dwelling size survey, is 59.11 square metres. Therefore each price per square metre was multiplied by 59.11 to get the cost of a two-bed flat in each country.


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