On a per-square-foot basis, the glamorous Monaco ranks as the most expensive market for luxury housing worldwide, followed by Hong Kong and London
The average starting price for a luxury property worldwide is $2,200,000. But how much does a luxury property cost in a markets like Singapore, London, or Toronto? Is the typical price per square foot US$300 or US$3,000? Local context as well as supply and demand all figure into the prices found within different real estate markets, each of which has a unique set of characteristics. In its comprehensive report Luxury Defined 2016, Christie’s International Real Estate experts consider the factors that shape global cities’ real estate profiles and assess how these cities stack up against one another in terms of relative cost.
Many premier global centers—as well as prized second-home resort destinations—continue to command exceptional prices for prime property. A snapshot of 36 luxury primary and resort housing markets (see chart below) reveals that on a price-per-square-foot basis, global economic hubs Hong Kong, London, and New York are the most expensive markets for luxury real estate worldwide by a significant margin. Million-dollar-plus homes in the majority of other luxury housing markets span from just under US$1,100 per square foot to US$200. The exception to this rule is the tiny city-state Monaco, which towers ahead of all other markets and averages more than US$4,500 per square foot for luxury homes.
The following is a snapshot of relative values of luxury homes around the world.
Average Luxury Home Prices (Per Square Foot)
$1 million-plus-home sales, 2015
Home to the world-famous Grand-Prix motor race, a glittering yacht-lined harbor, and glamorous casinos, the world’s second smallest nation is also home to the world’s most prized real estate on a price per square foot basis. Luxury properties sell for US$4,500 per square foot on average—more than double the next highest city or country around the world. This elegant waterfront estate overlooking Port Hercule exemplifies the allure of Monaco’s idyllic perch on the French Riviera. This apartment truly shines at dusk, when the sun sets over the nearby cliffs, affording residents prime views of the Mediterranean from both the floor-to-ceiling windows and the comfortable balcony.
US$1,930: Average price per square foot for luxury property
A cosmopolitan city since its days as the ancient Roman outpost of Londinium, London tops the 2016 luxury index with an average market sale price of US$2,356,000 and a typical luxury property starting at US$7,000,000. London is extremely desirable to international buyers, and it currently has more properties over US$1 million offered from sale than any other city. In 2015, London had the second-most expensive residential property in the world sell for US$140,000,000 or £92,000,000. This lovely four-bedroom row house in desirable Notting Hill (US$7,200,000 or £4,950,000) shows how a historic property that’s been skillfully and stylishly updated can suit a growing family and offer room for entertaining as well. A landscaped garden and cleverly designed wine room are among its many charms.
US$3,000: Average price per square foot for luxury property
In 2015, the fashionable harbor city of Hong Kong edged out London for the most expensive residential sale in the world with single family home selling for $194,000,000 or HK $1,500,000,000. Typical luxury residences here start at US$5,000,000, and sell on average for US$3,000 per square foot. Hong Kong is also the site of the highest price paid per square foot on a single residential sale (US$19,563).
Known across the United States as the eternal home of the next “it” neighborhood and some of the costliest real estate in the country, New York ranks as the fourth most expensive city for luxury homes worldwide on a per square foot basis. Perhaps no neighborhood in Manhattan better illustrates the constant evolution of the city’s luxury market than Chelsea, where the art world elite dominate the streets along 9th and 10th Avenue and the High Line brings fresh blooms and serene green space to a former industrial rail line. New luxury condos are constantly taking shape here. In a West 23rd Street building designed by Neil Denari with interiors by Thomas Juul-Hansen, this exquisite 12th-floor residence has floor-to-ceiling windows that provide spectacular skyline (and High Line) views.
The City of Light remains an international symbol of luxury and style. With its unparalleled concentration of art, culture, architecture, food, and fashion, Paris belongs in any list of top luxury locations worldwide. High-end homes in Paris range from new-build condos to grand Beaux Arts-style apartments that line the city’s leafy boulevards. Million-dollar-plus homes sell on average for just under US$1,000 per square foot. The city is now one of the least expensive European economic hubs for luxury property and prices are 20 percent below their 2011 peak. This exceptionally well-maintained two-bedroom apartment near the Seine and the Champs-Élysées is rich in period detail with high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, ornate plasterwork, and herringbone floors. At approximately US$5 million, it represents a typical offering with all the qualities that make Parisian luxury living unique.
US$750: Average price per square foot for luxury property
Neon-lit Miami is being stylishly transformed by the construction of sophisticated luxury condos along its iconic waterfront that are setting a new bar for interior square footage, spectacular views, and high prices. In 2015, the city broke a regional record with a US$55,000,000 sale of a new-build penthouse. Typical luxury listings in this culturally vibrant tropical mecca hover around US$1,000,000.
Australia’s most populous city set regional records in 2015 with a US$53,500,000 sale of a single residence, brokered by exclusive Affiliate Ken Jacobs. Luxury homes in the harbourside city sell on average for US$680 per square foot. With its cosmopolitan culture and spectacular sunny weather, Sydney is becoming an established global hotspot for prime property. It currently claims one of the most exceptional listings in the Pacific, the Elaineestate, a historic property located on the harbor. The estate is composed of multiple waterfront parcels as well as a magnificent Victorian that was once the residence of a prominent Australian media family.
US$680: Average price per square foot for luxury property
Canada’s most populous city, Toronto, where luxury properties sell for an average of just under US$700 per square foot, ranked as the second “hottest” city for luxury property in this year’s Luxury Defined report. Like Sydney, Toronto is known for its Victorian architecture mixed with innovative new designs as well as its spectacular waterfront position. This five-bedroom estate in nearby Kleinburg is listed at US$7,543,712. It sits on 1.28 acres of pristine land adjacent to a ravine and boasts top-of-the-line finishes throughout. Its many amenities include a 2,500-bottle wine cellar as well as a unique swimming pool and impressive gardens.
US$284: Average price per square foot for luxury property
On a comparison of luxury real estate on a price per square foot basis, one of the cities that offers the best value for money is San Antonio in south-central Texas. Million-dollar-plus homes sell on average for less than US$300 per square foot in this historic city, the seventh largest in the United States. This grand and impeccably crafted two-story home is a perfect example of San Antonio’s finest estates. Its expansive, 5,421-square-foot interior boasts scores of luxurious finishes, including warm wood paneling, porcelain and marble, hardwood floors, and an ornate wrought-iron stair rail.