Comparing property rental prices around the world

There are a few key practical considerations to take into account when moving abroad, and finding a place to rest your head is likely to come right at the top of the list. Of course, whether to buy or rent depends on a variety of factors such as how long you are planning to stay, as well as the property available in your host country. But for the wide population of expats who prefer to rent, where in the world offers the best deals? And how do these compare with the cost of accommodation here in the UK?
Last year, the Prices and Earnings report from global financial firm, UBS, revealed that New York City was ranked the most expensive destination in the world to rent property. This survey uses as its benchmark a furnished two-bedroom apartment, which while it might be more modest than many expats would consider on a long-term basis, could be the kind of pied-à-terre that could be useful while finding a more permanent home.
In New York this benchmark apartment weighed in at an average of $4,620 per month (approx. £3,172). Hot on the tail of the Big Apple came Hong Kong with an average of $4,410 (£3,027) per month for the same deal; our very own London with $2,840 (£1,949); Geneva with $2,810 (£1,929); and completing the top five, Chicago, with $2,520 (£1,729).
However, British expats wanting an accurate, up-to-the-minute picture of living costs around the world, in cities other than the ‘usual suspects’ destinations of expats surveys, might choose to investigate an innovative online resource.
Numbeo uses user-generated data to create an interactive map which allows those considering a move overseas to quickly compare rental prices, and other aspects of the cost of living, around the globe. Of course, it is important to bear in mind that rental prices do not provide the whole picture of what your money will buy in your chosen destination – for example, low tax rates help to balance out high rental costs in Hong Kong – but if a comparison of average prices with those you might be paying here in the UK is what you are looking for, this resource certainly ticks all the boxes.
According to Numbeo, some of the cheapest places to rent property in the world include Macedonia (average rent 15% of that in the UK), Uganda (16%), the Philippines (18%), Albania (18%) and Bolivia (27%).
Addmittedly, some of these destinations might sound a bit niche when taking into consideration the more popular locations for expats. More traditional choices that measure up well compared with the UK in terms of property rental prices include Canada (average rent 80% of that in the UK), France (72%) and Spain (48%).
It’s interesting to note that other popular expat destinations such as Australia (115%) and the US (94%) don’t necessarily offer a better deal than right here in the homeland for people hoping to move abroad from London.
If you are considering a move to any of these destinations, Cadogan Tate will assist you every step of the way – from your first enquiry to unpacking at your new home, we are here to help and advise you. For more details about Cadogan Tate’s specialist international removals services from London, click here.
Information correct at time of publication.