Published November 23, 2012
| Movoto Blog
The Movoto Real Estate bloggers have traveled with you across the nation -- we’ve introduced you to the humble abode of Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie in New York City, and we pinpointed the locale of Wayne Manor in Chicago. But we have yet to cover the endless number of amazing cities around the world.
Who hasn’t read about, traveled to, or considered moving across the ocean to an international city bustling with potential new friends and foreign cultures? We know we’ve been caught pining after life in some exotic metropolitan on more than one occasion.
To satisfy our curiosity, we dug around in the global real estate market and discovered some interesting details about property prices in 30 of our top international contenders.
First, How’d We Do It?
We picked 30 cities that seem like the perfect places to relocate (in case we want to test out a new lifestyle), and from there figured out property costs.
With the help of lists like Plan B Economics’ Most Expensive Cities in the World, we were able to calculate the average price per square foot for our chosen cities.
Here, we look at how much square footage you can purchase with $250,000 -- about the average price of a home in America. Then, using sites such as Numbeo and The Guardian’s visualization, we calculated what some of your regular expenses–think morning coffee runs and gym memberships -- would be in each city.
You just might be surprised to find what $250,000 will (or won’t) buy you in these international cities.
Pick a City, Any City
1. Athens, Greece
At $781 per square foot, you could afford a space of 320 square feet, or just under 30 square meters. This is practically a steal compared to some of the other European cities on our list, in part because of the country’s struggle with bankruptcy.
The historic city is unfortunately undergoing an extensive financial crisis, with the latest numbers recording unemployment rates of 25 percent. So if you’re considering calling Athens your new home, here are some costs to keep in mind:
2. Auckland, New Zealand
For $250,000 you could buy about 340 square feet in Auckland, or just under 32 square meters. Considering the average home size in this city is around 150 square meters, you probably wouldn’t fare too well.
One upside to moving to Auckland: the city has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world, which could be cool if you’re looking for an exotic husband or wife -- or just a new cultural experience. Regular expenses are similar, if on the higher side, compared to some of America’s metro areas:
3. Barcelona, Spain
A quarter of a million dollars would buy you 508 square feet (47 square meters) of living space in Spain’s second-largest city, at $492 per square foot.
If you’re dying to move to Europe but can’t afford the rather absurd living costs in the most popular cities, Barcelona might be your perfect destination. The best part? Continuing your coffee fix won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
4. Beijing, China
With a single square foot costing $432, you’d be able to afford 579 square feet (just under 54 square meters) of living space.
Beijing is one of the more reasonably priced Asian cities on our list, so if a move across the Pacific Ocean is in your near future, Beijing might be the affordable way to go. Be prepared to pay for your physical health though, because gym memberships run around 80 bucks -- more than $30 higher than in Shanghai.
5. Buenos Aires, Argentina
With $250,000 in hand, you’d be able to purchase a decent 1,250 square-foot property (116 square meters) in Buenos Aires. This South American city averages $200 per square foot, making it one of the cheapest cities on our list to buy a home.
At rank 121 on Mercer’s list of the most expensive cities to live in, Buenos Aires could be the perfect place to call home -- just get used to using public transportation to avoid gas prices.
6. Copenhagen, Denmark
In the capital of Denmark, $250,000 would buy you roughly 585 square feet (54 square meters). Known for its exceptional quality of life and environmental awareness, Copenhagen is the perfect locale if you’re devoted to sustainability and are concerned with your current lifestyle standards.
If Copenhagen is your dream city of residence, you better be fond of crappy weather: it rains about every other day on average. Looks like you’ll be paying a high price for a high quality of life.
7. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
At just $156 per square foot, you could purchase 1,602 square feet of space (148 square meters) for $250,000.
A downside to moving to Dubai? The temperature -- the winter average is 73 degrees F and summers run at an average of 108 degrees F. But if you can withstand the heat, Dubai is the perfect place to drive the biggest gas-guzzler you can find, since gas costs less than $2 a gallon.
8. Geneva, Switzerland
A single square foot will cost you $1,430 in Geneva, and for $250,000 you’d be able to purchase just under 175 square feet (16 square meters).
This diplomatic city could be the perfect destination for anyone preaching coexistence who happens to have bills spilling out of their wallet. Geneva was ranked fifth on the 2012 Mercer survey of the most expensive cities to live in, and we can see why.
9. Hong Kong, China
In Hong Kong, $250,000 would buy you all of 132 square feet (12 square meters) with the average price per square foot at $1,893. Ranked ninth by Mercer, the city has an extremely high population density with seven million inhabitants.
The city’s high demand for housing contributes to its absurdly high property prices, and also has a less-than-stellar affect on the price of your regular cup of java. In fact, moving to Hong Kong could be the perfect push to kick that caffeine addiction.
10. Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul’s relatively low price per square foot of $287 means that with $250,000 you could buy 871 square feet, or just under 81 square meters.
Formerly known as Constantinople, Turkey’s largest city could be the perfect destination for those who prefer a Mediterranean climate and access to two entire continents. A portion of Istanbul lies in Europe, while another part lies in Asia. All that traveling will cost you quite a bit in gas, however.