And you thought square footage in Vancouver was expensive ….

Two years of global recession have made villas and apartments in some of the world’s most desirable locations dramatically more affordable – but still way higher than Vancouver’s comparable sales – according to figures researched by UK estate agency, Savills, and published in the Daily Telegraph.

[To provide a comparison with Vancouver, I have converted all sterling figures into CAD and changed the price per square metre (the preferred calculation in Europe) to a price per square foot. According to the May 2010 figures from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the average apartment price in Vancouver Westside is $510,885. If the average apartment size is approximately 600 square feet, that equates to $851 per square foot.]

The results of Savills’ survey shows Marrakesh as the best-value location with riads and apartments in prime parts of the Moroccan city costing $588 per square foot thanks to the city’s low land and construction costs. In central Europe, Montenegro offers beautiful countryside and some of the world’s most unspoilt coastlines and costs $1,507 per square foot with recent improvements to its air links with Britain and its own transport infrastructure.

Likewise in the Middle East, the Sultanate of Oman, which has avoided the blingy excesses of Dubai and is regarded as an elegant low-rise location, costs $776 per square foot. Also good value is the Seychelles, where prime property is $993 per square foot.

The league table also shows which locations have held their values well, despite the recession. Italy, the Balearics and parts of France stand out in this regard. “Majorca has a large gene pool of buyers. This gives it a very resilient market,” says Charles Weston-Baker, director of Savills’ international department, who adds that purchasers come from Britain, northern Europe and the USA. He contrasts that with mainland Spain, which is these days almost wholly reliant on British buyers, who are now stepping back. The country also has a serious oversupply of new homes.

The data also shows that some of the world’s most expensive international hot spots have been relatively recession-proof. “It’s not a surprise that key financial hubs such as Paris, Moscow, Hong Kong or Shanghai generate high values. But it’s clear that traditional world-renowned ‘lifestyle’ destinations such as Cannes and Courchevel continue to attract high-spenders, as does Monaco,” says Savills’s researcher Rebecca Gill, the author of the survey.

The agency sold an apartment in Hong Kong for $29,763 per square foot late last year, about 20 per cent above the top-price London property it sold, while Monaco and Manhattan have seen sales at or above $24,650 per square foot. Paris, the Cote d’Azur and Sydney had one-off top-dollar sales that were close behind.

What costs what, where – Prime apartment property, price per square foot

* Monaco $20,649
* Cannes $10,325
* Courchevel, France $8,262
* Moscow $7,534
* Hong Kong $6,003
* Sydney $5,348
* Paris $4,649
* Manhattan $4,521
* Shanghai $4,470
* Singapore $4,219
* Milan, Italy $4,128
* Sardinia $3,714
* Majorca $3,300
* Geneva $3,195
* Auckland $2,928
* Cape Town $2,528
* Nice $2,478
* Lisbon $2,064
* Warsaw $1,883
* Dubrovnik, Croatia $1,859
* Istanbul $1,813
* Zell am See, Austria $1,650
* Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam $1,580
* Budva, Montenegro $1,507
* Dubai $1,390
* Algarve, Portugal $1,239
* Sotogrande, Spain $1,239
* Nevis, Caribbean $1,197
* Sarasota, Florida $1,148
* St Lucia, Caribbean $1,083
* Seychelles $1,105
* Hanoi, Vietnam $904
** Vancouver Westside $851
* Muscat, Oman $776
* Cairo $604
* Marrakesh $588

One Response to “And you thought square footage in Vancouver was expensive ….”

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