Renting in the Top Financial Centers of the World: NYC Renters Pay Twice as Much as Londoners Do

Rents for one-bedroom homes tend to be expensive in large cities, especially in the major financial hubs. There are some exceptions though: a couple of cities that don’t seem to be playing by the “rules,” even among the top-performing business powerhouses, where one would expect to see consistently high prices. Due to the increased mobility, today’s workforce – especially those with high-paying jobs in the financial and economic sectors – can take advantage of this situation and choose the most favorable location, even if it assumes boarding an intercontinental flight.

Average Rents

Average Rents

Early this week apartment search website RENTCafé put out a report aimed to expand the understanding of the rental housing markets in the world’s top financial centers. The analysis looks at the average rents for one-bedroom apartments ranging from 600 to 999 square feet in the top 30 financial centers of the world, as ranked by the Z/Yen Group‘s Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI). The rent data used in the study was provided by Yardi Matrix, Point2Homes, Global Property Guide, and numerous international sources of housing market intelligence.

One of the most surprising findings of the study is that the world’s leading financial business hub, London, is among the cheapest in terms of rents. The average one-bedroom apartment there only costs the British pound equivalent of $1,650, which makes the most powerful financial center of the world only the 20th most expensive.

The study also reveals that although New York City is the only American market in the top 5 financial centers of the world by the GFCI ranking, the US dominates the list when you sort the cities by their average rents. The $3,680 average rent earns the Big Apple the not-so-glorious first place, closely followed by San Francisco with $3,360 and Boston with $2,930. This means that NYC is the second-best-performing financial center but the one with the most expensive rental housing markets, while San Francisco and Boston have climbed on the “podium” from the 6th and 7th GFCI ranks, respectively. Coincidentally, Hong Kong is in 4th place both when ranked by financial performance and average rent, with one-bedroom apartments costing $2,740 on average.

Most of the top 30 financial centers ask rents exceeding the $1,000 mark, but there are three exceptions: Taipei, $910; Montreal, $850; and Casablanca, $820.

For details about the other financial centers included in the study, read the full report on the RENTCafé Blog.