Both cities are just as magnetic, though many would argue New York has had a head start on Shanghai in many aspects. Nonetheless, it’s hard to argue that both cities share many similarities as the global financial and cultural powerhouses of today.
But when it comes to rent space and how much USD1,500 can get you in these two cities, the difference is, (pun intended) pretty big.
Shanghai renters can get more than six times the rent space (in terms of square feet) in Manhattan, New York, according to apartment search website RENTCafé’s latest project about price-to-space ratio in the 30 most magnetic cities around the world.
“You literally have to pay a price if you want to live in one of the world’s most popular cultural and economic powerhouses, so we did expect Tokyo and Singapore to make the podium in Asia, next to Hong Kong,” Andreea Curean, a RENTCafé spokesman told Asian Correspondent.
“But the real shockers were Shanghai and Beijing, which welcome renters with one of the best rent-to-apartment size ratios.”
The basis of the study is Mori Memorial Foundation’s Institute for Urban Strategies‘ ranking of the world’s most magnetic cities, as published in their Global Power City Index 2016 report. Magnetism is described as “their comprehensive power which allows them to attract creative individuals and business enterprises from every continent and to mobilize their assets in securing economic, social, and environmental development”.
The prices per square foot and m2 are based on the average rents for one-bedroom apartments and sourced from Yardi Matrix, an apartment market intelligence source.
A previous study by RENTCafé had listed Kuala Lumpur as the most affordable city to rent in, as locals can only expect to pay 20 percent of their income on rent. But prices only go so far in informing those planning to relocate to these cities about its housing market and what sort of living condition they can expect.
This latest study aims to put perspective into what your green bills can get you, Curean says.
“Examining the value of money on their rental markets, however, is something we felt would add to the value of this research and aid people who are contemplating to relocate to one of these cities.”
Magnetism = Higher rent?
It would seem natural to assume that real estate prices increase the more “magnetic” a city is. After all, news about soaring rent prices in prime cities like London, New York and Tokyo are commonplace.
Correspondingly, these three cities are at the top three spots in the Global Power Index 2016.
But Curean cautions against this line of thinking. There is no direct correlation between the GPCI and RENTCafé rankings, he says.
“If you compare the two rankings, you’ll see quite drastic climbs and falls (like Istanbul moving to the top of RENTCafé’s list from rank 21 on GPCI 2016, or Manhattan and London dropping 28 places from their GPCI 2016 spots in RENTCafé’s list), but jumping to the conclusion that the value of your money is inversely proportional to the magnetism of a city would be a mistake.”
Another example is Seoul, which sits on the sixth spot in GPCI’s rankings for scoring top marks in terms of its economy as well as research and development. It’s not far off from New York which ranks 2nd in the GPCI 2016.
Yet, USD1,500 will rent you an apartment five times bigger (in square feet) than one in Manhattan, New York no less than 1,389sq ft. (129m2) in size.
Other Asian cities offering great rent space without too much compromise on other aspects of urban attractiveness include Istanbul, Beijing and Osaka.