What $3 million can buy in the world’s most expensive cities for expats?
If you’re looking to relocate to one of the world’s top-dollar spots, we reveal some properties that give you the most bang for your buck.
The most expensive cities to live in as an expat have been revealed, with Hong Kong coming out on top for the second year running.
In the rankings, compiled by Global mobility company ECA International, New York, and Geneva came in at second and third place followed by London and Tokyo.
Other cities rounding out the top ten comprise Tel Aviv, Zurich, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Seoul.
ECA International said higher prices and a stronger currency kept Hong Kong at the top of the pile, while New York and London ranked high due to rocketing rental prices, with hikes of 12% and 20% respectively.
Along with rental costs, ECA International looked at the cost of goods and services in more than 490 locations. The latest report ranks 207 cities in 120 countries. Continuing on from Soule, other cities forming the top 20 were San Francisco, Shenzhen, Singapore, Beijing, Jerusalem, Bern, Yokohama, Copenhagen, Oslo, and Taipei.
For those who are set to relocate to one of these top-dollar spots, we’ve sifted through our listings to reveal what $3 million will get you in terms of properties.
The diverse list of homes includes everything from a slick design duplex in Zurich to a sprawling seven-bedroom home in one of Jerusalem’s most exclusive neighborhoods.
What $3 million can buy in the world’s most expensive cities to live for expats
1. Hong Kong
Average housing price on JamesEdition: $5,351,000 / $40,900 per sqm
What $3M can buy: A two-bedroom apartment with sky-high views
Space: 2 bedrooms, approx. 81 sqm (estimated based on average price per sqm)
Slap bang on Robinson Road, this sky-high apartment is conveniently located close to SoHo and Central with public transport links on the doorstep. In terms of the living space, all of the rooms allow for ample natural light with top views across the city skyline. Perks include two well-proportioned bedrooms, a living room, a dining area, a compact kitchen, and an outdoor terrace space.
2. New York
Average housing price on JamesEdition: $1,900,000 / $14,200 per sqm
What $3M can buy: A slick three-bedroom apartment looking out over Central Park
Space: 3 bedrooms, 290 sqm
Bag prime views of Manhattan with this slick three-bed apartment. The living room features floor-to-ceiling windows so you can sit back and admire the views, while the bedrooms also offer top panoramas. Come the summer months, there is also a terrace to enjoy. The unit is part of a modern tower block, which is just a stone’s throw from Central Park and Fifth Avenue. This means homeowners will benefit from a range of on-site amenities including a fitness center, private garden, children’s playroom, parking, and storage.
Average housing price on JamesEdition: $6,337,000 / 11,300 per sqm
What $3M can buy: A beautiful semi-detached house with a pool
Space: 3 bedrooms, 220 sqm
A sense of calm runs throughout this property, thanks to ample amounts of natural light, neutral-hued interiors, and open plan-style spaces. What’s more, the semi-detached house is situated in the quaint village of Hermance which offers a more laid-back pace over Geneva, yet the city center is only around a 20-minute drive away. Other attractive features of the property include a conservatory serving up blissful countryside views, a swimming pool, bedrooms with large skylights, and a double garage.
Average housing price: $3,969,000 / $23,000 per sqm
What $3M can buy: Gorgeous maisonette with a private garden in Notting Hill
Space: 3 bedrooms, 193 sqm
You’re sure to feel right at home in London with this charming maisonette as your base. Located in one of the city’s most sought-after areas, Notting Hill, this home oozes character with a spread of period features including marble fireplaces and parquet flooring, and it has an attractive front facade to boot. Arranged over two floors, the living spaces comprise a formal dining room, a kitchen within a conservatory-style extension, a spacious living room, two bathrooms, and three bedrooms with two looking into a private garden area. Homeowners also benefit from access to a communal garden, landscaped with mature trees, shrubs, and lawn spaces.
Average housing price on JamesEdition: $1,420,000 / $16,410 per sqm
What $3M can buy: A design-led freehold property in the heart of Tokyo
Space: 3 bedrooms, 180 sqm
Touchdown in Tokyo in style, with this stylish three-bedroom property located close to the vibrant Roppongi district. While it is close to some of the metropolis’ most popular attractions, the apartment is part of a tucked away development which has a serene atmosphere thanks to landscaped garden areas and attractive architectural design. The home itself showcases modern Japanese design, with clean lines, a monochrome color scheme and the use of natural materials, from hardwoods to polished stone. While space is at a premium in Tokyo, this home serves up generous living spaces with a balcony and outdoor terrace to boot.
6. Tel Aviv
Average housing price on JamesEdition: $4,333,000 / $22,160 per sqm
What $3M can buy: A spacious apartment within a luxury serviced complex, $3,040,882
Space: 2 bedrooms, 121 sqm
Feel the beating heart of Tel Aviv by taking up residence within this eye-catching apartment complex. The Be’eri Nehardea residential tower is located within walking distance of designer stores and some of the city‘s finest restaurants. There are a number of kindergartens and prestigious schools in the area, making it a convenient base for families. One two-bed apartment, currently listed on JamesEdition, has a cool Manhattan loft-style feel, with exposed redbrick walls, dark wood flooring, plenty of natural lights, and minimalist interiors. Shared facilities in the serviced block include 24/7 security, a semi-Olympic swimming pool, a fully equipped gym, a sauna, and an expansive communal garden.
Average housing price on JamesEdition: $6,521,000 / $21,740 per sqm
What $3M can buy: An elegant duplex apartment in a fashionable district, $3,596,955
Space: 2 bedrooms, 169 sqm
Switzerland is known for being one of the world’s design capitals and this cool duplex apartment in Zurich’s fashionable Fluntern district certainly fits the bill. The area is close to the city center yet it’s popular for its rural feel, with mature trees lining the sidewalks and the Zurich zoo is another top attraction. This apartment has a thoroughly modern feel, with clean lines and a floating staircase, thanks to a complete reconstruction in 2015. Split over two floors, the apartment offers two bedrooms, a well-designed kitchen, and a large living room opening onto a secluded patio space. Wine-lovers will especially feel right at home here, as there is a communal wine cellar shared among the apartment block’s residents.
8. San Francisco
Average housing price on JamesEdition: $1,650,000 / $11,250 per sqm
What $3M can buy: A stunning Victorian home in a coveted neighborhood
Space: 4 bedrooms, 241 sqm
Entertain in style, with this slick San Francisco pad, which has a Victorian facade but a cool art gallery feel lurking inside. The four-bedroom, three-bathroom property was extensively remodeled in 2016. Today, a monochrome color scheme runs throughout and the rooms are flooded with natural light. The home is located in the city’s Noe Valley neighborhood, which is known for its ‘village’ vibe, with a tight-knit community and almost non-existent crime rate.
On the lower level, there are three bedrooms, with one opening out onto a private outdoor patio. The main floor comprises expansive living and dining areas that feature entertaining and work-from-home spaces, while the pièce de résistance is a penthouse on the top floor that opens onto a huge decked area.
Average housing price: $4,605,000 / $20,000 per sqm
What $3M can buy: An upscale apartment in a vertical village designed by an internationally acclaimed architecture firm
Space: 3 bedrooms, 363 sqm
Lap up leafy surroundings from the comfort of your apartment by checking into this head-turning tower block. Located in Singapore’s Southern Ridges, where you’ll find numerous green spaces, this apartment complex was designed internationally acclaimed architecture firm – Office For Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). In a bid to fit in with the environment, the interlocking tower blocks are nestled amid landscaped courtyards, multiple communal sky gardens, and private roof gardens. This particular apartment serves up three bedrooms and smart entertaining spaces decked out with a neutral color scheme.
10. Jerusalem, Israel
Average housing price on JamesEdition: $3,388,000 / $12,500 per sqm
What $3M can buy: A sprawling seven-bedroom home in leafy surroundings
Space: 7 bedrooms, 350 sqm
From a sweeping spiral staircase to an outdoor space decked out with lush foliage, there are many things about this four-story home that make it very appealing. Located in the upscale Arnona neighborhood close to the US Embassy, this well-proportioned property is ideal for families looking to relocate. The interiors are clean and unfussy with the potential to inject some of your own character. The use of natural materials, including woods and polished stone, helps create an inviting and earthy atmosphere. For those who don’t need as many bedrooms, the spaces could be converted to offer everything from an in-home gym to a private cinema space.