How Much Space Does $1,500 Rent In The World's 'Most Magnetic' Cities?

New Yorkers who wince every time they slip a $1,500 rent check under their super’s door should consider moving to Shanghai, or maybe Berlin.

According to a new study published on RentCafe, $1,500 will buy you three times more space in Shanghai than in Los Angeles and twice as much in Frankfurt. Meanwhile, rents per square foot are five times higher in San Francisco than they are in Berlin.

Rentcafe used data from the Global Power Index and data on price-to-square footage ratios that it had collected for a previous study to compare how much space $1,500 will buy in the world’s 30 “most magnetic” cities - i.e. cities that are popular tourism hubs.

The study’s authors presented their results in an interactive graphic that allows users to compare costs between cities. Some of the most expensive markets include San Francisco, Manhattan and Zurich. Among the least expensive are Istanbul, Shanghai and Berlin.

Manhattan, for example, offers only 277 square foot (26 m2) for $1,500.  In Seoul, the same amount of money will rent you no less than a 1,389 square foot (129 m2) apartment, ample space for one person.

In San Francisco, $1,500 a month will rent you a 316 square foot apartment. Meanwhile, in Austria, $1,500 will rent you 1,009 square feet – almost three times as much. Rentcafe adds that, while SF has some of the most widely regarded cultural amenities in the world, Vienna - the City of Music – has plenty of entertainment options, from museums, vintage cinemas, live shows to recreational parks and hiking trails.

That is to say that one doesn't necessarily need to pay sky-high rents to live in a fun urban environment.


I am Jobe Wed, 09/27/2017 - 03:01 Permalink

NY, San Fran, or most of CA, , Dalls, Austin, Seattle, you are paying from the ambiance and the experience so that you can talk about somehting useless while eating top ramen. 

Volaille de Bresse Wed, 09/27/2017 - 03:41 Permalink

'Moving to Berlin should be weighed carefully as there is a tradeoff between paying less rent and having your throat slit" The biggest enemy is the weather though : spend a winter in Berlin with -20°C temps and you stop caring about your cheap rent.

CRM114 Wed, 09/27/2017 - 05:31 Permalink

$1,500 pays my property tax and utilities for a year.Saw the usual black killer hanging around the edge of my lot at 6am this morning. He has a striped tail and keeps the mouse population down. I call him Ricky the Raccoon.You are welcome to your cities.

Barney Fife Wed, 09/27/2017 - 05:34 Permalink

Hmm, "in vogue cities"? This is the mentality that produced a climate once where people traded a castle a 10,000 acres of land for a single tulip bulb. 

brushhog Wed, 09/27/2017 - 07:58 Permalink

Cost me 3k a year in property tax for my house, 100 acres good land, barn, clean well, and detached garage. The land provides an income, feeds my family,  heats the house in winter, gives good clean water without even a need for filtration, and provides for all of our recreation. Thats the biggest difference that people do not understand. You live in a town or city, you pay rent AND THEN you have to pay for every expense afterward. The costs are much higher for city living than they appear.

GunnerySgtHartman brushhog Wed, 09/27/2017 - 09:13 Permalink

"But ... but ... but ... big cities are so COOL!  And there's, like, hipster coffee bars on every corner!  And pro sports!  And arts and culture!" - so says the "in crowd"Yeah, and then there's the crime, and the traffic, and the noise, and the high taxes, and the garbage schools, and the politicians who will fight tooth and nail to control people's lives because "they know what's best" (just ask Bill "The Communist" DeBlasio). Big cities are a ripoff ... You are playing it exactly right, sir!  I love living in a more rural area.

In reply to by brushhog

Mike Masr Wed, 09/27/2017 - 09:38 Permalink

Why would anyone want to pay $1,500 month to live in a dingy apartment in a democrat run city?Live in a cesspool of crime, polluted filthy air, homeless people, excessive taxes and terrible traffic.Sounds wonderful to me. (sarc)   

To Hell In A H… Wed, 09/27/2017 - 10:00 Permalink

Don't even talk about London. Rent seekers everywhere. It's either get on board, or get left behind. Being a landlord myself, is the only way to guarantee a pension. Only a fool relies on the state, but even I'm seeing my own tenants struggle to keep payments. I've been observing so-called middle class whites, struggling to make rent and it's not a pretty sight. Everybody is getting squeezed and we won't all round on the main culprit, accept fight amongst ourselves.Lord Acton had it right. "The last great war to be fought is between the people and the BANKS" 

befuddled Wed, 09/27/2017 - 11:24 Permalink

So...Berlin *cough, wink* and Frankfurt *cough, fart* *cough, wince* are high on the list of the world's most 'magnetic' (WTF?) cities.Personally prefer Youngstown OH in Feb.

malek Wed, 09/27/2017 - 12:40 Permalink

People in and around Frankfurt will be relieved to know that while they're getting squeezed by exploding rents, they still still fare very well in comparison!