You Thought Your Rent Was Bad? Ten Global Cities With The Greatest Housing Price Increase

By Jeff Vasishta September 21, 2016

In places like New York and San Francisco, unaffordable housing markets and obscene costs of living are hardly foreign as topics of discussion. In fact, many seem to treat it like a grotesque badge of honor—taking some sort of morbid pride in being able to claim they live in “one of the most expensive cities in the world.” One small problem: that might not be true.

We often think of New York as the center of the universe (and in fairness, it kinda is), but when it comes to cities where housing prices are rising the most, NYC doesn’t even crack the top ten. In fact, no U.S. city, nor London for that matter, made the list.

Related: Affordable Housing: Providing Housing For Those In Need, Or Making Developers Richer? 

When it comes to the cities that did, all of which saw prices rise more than 15 percent in the last year, there are some that might surprise you—and some that probably won’t.

10. Lucknow, India
Increase: 16.1 percent
Located in Northern India (not where you would imagine the next Starbucks to pop up), Lucknow’s growth is largely thanks to the opening of a new Honda vehicles facility in the area, resulting in increased investments for the city (and with it, higher housing costs).

Lucknow, India. Photo courtesy of Radiokafka /

9. Izmir, Turkey
Increase: 16.7 percent
Izmir is on Turkey’s Western coast, and like Lucknow, owes much of its rising housing prices to “substantial investment and infrastructure creation in recent years”. And, while I’m sure it’s a quaint town, it was a bit tricky to find why you might want to live there. But at least it’s expensive.

8. Auckland, New Zealand
Increase: 16.9 percent
Auckland’s housing price increase is the result of two factors: a massive influx of Chinese investment dollars and a perpetual housing shortage. That and New Zealand is a spectacular place. From mountains to jungle, NZ looks like it’s worth the rent.

7. Vancouver, Canada
Increase: 17.3 percent
The only city from the Western Hemisphere to break the top ten is, like Auckland in position eight, on the list largely due to heavy investment from the East. This also created an unfortunate side effect: a record number of unoccupied homes. And, Van city has a very high quality of life with mountains, ocean and forests easily accessed from downtown, a thriving film industry and a general good-time ethos. So, expensive, I get it.

6. Stockholm, Sweden
Increase: 17.4 percent
Stockholm is caught in the midst of a major housing bubble, thanks to extremely low interest rates and “a general imbalance in supply and demand in the city.” It might be a cool city to live in. Or maybe the populace just fell in love with their captors?

5. Beijing, China
Increase: 17.6 percent
As with many rankings these days, it seems, China holds most of the top spots on this list. China’s capital owes its fifth-place finish to continued economic growth—with Beijing’s status as an economic juggernaut comes an increasingly valued housing market. And I guess Asian investment?

Beijing, China.

4. Nanjing, China
Increase: 17.8 percent
Narrowly edging out Beijing, Nanjing has one of the largest inland ports in the world, and as such, is a key player in moving goods in and out of mainland China. In August alone, housing prices increased more than three percent, fueled by cheap credits incentivizing investment properties. Not just any port in a storm.

3. Istanbul, Turkey
Increase: 19.6 percent
Earning the bronze, Istanbul is the only city not in China to make the top five, and its nearly 20 percent increase in housing prices can be attributed to, like many cities on the list, a flood of foreign money—this time from the Gulf states. And all this is despite the political unrest plaguing Turkey.

Istanbul, Turkey.
Istanbul, Turkey.

2. Shanghai, China
Increase: 30.5 percent
That astounding increase indicates one thing: China’s financial capital, already home to some of the highest property prices in the world, isn’t slowing down anytime soon, and buyers want in.

1. Shenzhen, China
Increase: 62.5 percent
No. That isn’t a typo: 62.5 percent—more than double its closest competition. Across the water from Hong Kong, China’s Silicon Valley is swiftly blooming into a tech hardware hub, and the housing market is moving fast as a result, more than doubling last year’s prices. I guess it’s all about China.

As you can see, overseas cities are seeing huge housing price increases. Maybe—just maybe—New Yorkers don’t have it quite so bad after all.

Jeff Vasishta



Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

    Stefano Boeri, the architect mastermind behind the famous plant-covered skyscrapers, is now designing Forest Cities in Liuzhou, China. #ForestCity #China
    Auction is the second scheduled in a month for a One57 unit and it could set a NYC foreclosure record. #BillionairesRow #Foreclosures
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