How much renting a 3-bedroom apartment costs around the world

A lot has been said about how expensive property is in Singapore, but the fact is that most Singaporeans will never ever have to worry about how much it costs to rent an apartment here, or even attempt to buy property on the private market.

An overwhelming number of Singaporeans continue to live with their parents until well into adulthood, moving out only when they get married and are eligible to purchase HDB property with the help of hefty government grants. So it's not surprising that when it comes to comparing the price of rent here and overseas, most people have no clue.

We had a look on, which compiles data about the cost of living in various cities across the world based on user ratings. Check out this comparison of rent in Singapore versus rent in some of the world's major (and most expensive) cities:

Obviously, the average size of a 3 bedroom apartment in Hong Kong is probably about the size of a toilet of one in Toronto. Still, the site seems to provide a pretty accurate picture of how much it costs to rent in various major world cities.

It is undeniably more expensive to rent than to buy in Singapore if you qualify for HDB grants. This is also due to the fact that the supply of rental property is artificially inflated due to the strict rules on renting out HDB property, what with the five year minimum occupation period and all.

It's not my intention to provide a cost-benefit analysis of living elsewhere because, let's face it, there are too many intangibles at play. One person may value char kway teow, another may prefer to work fewer hours per day while a third may be crazy about a certain culture. There are also other costs involved such as taxes, general expenditure, etc.

But it's interesting to compare how much it would cost to keep yourself off the streets in various places around the world. What do you think? Does this affect your opinion on where you'd like to live? Or have the prices shocked you into giving up on ever living in other major world cities?

Most expensive real estate markets worldwide

  • 1. Monaco

    According to the Wealth Report 2016, Monaco remained the world's most expensive residential real estate market on a square-meter basis, with US$1 million buying only 17 square meters, or 183 square feet.

  • 2. Hong Kong

    Hong Kong was the second most-expensive market, with US$1 million buying 20 square meters, or 215 square feet.

  • 3. London

    London ranked third with 22 square meters, or 236 square feet.

  • 4. New York

    New York once again ranked as the most expensive US city on a per-meter basis, with US$1 million buying 27 square meters, or roughly 290 square feet.

  • 5. Geneva

    US$1 million buys 40 square metres.

  • 6. Sydney

    US$1 million buys 40 square metres.

  • 7. Singapore

    Singapore is the 7th most expensive real estate market in the world, in the list which looked only at "prime" real estate.

  • 8. Shanghai

    According to the report, Shanghai saw the third most substantial rise in property prices last year.

  • 9. Paris

    US$1 million buys 57 square metres.

  • 10. Beijing

    US$1 million buys 58 square metres.

  • 11. Los Angeles

  • 12. Rome

  • 13. Miami

    Miami ranked third among US cities, with 6 per cent price growth.

  • 14. Moscow

  • 15. Tokyo

  • 16. Istanbul

  • 17. Berlin

  • 18. Mumbai

  • 19. Sao Paulo

    Brazil's economic crisis means that US$1 million now buys 203 square meters, or 2,185 square feet of prime real estate. That compares with 142 square meters, or around 1,500 square feet, last year.

  • 20. Cape Town

    In Cape Town, US$1 million buys 255 square meters, or 2,745 square feet.

This article first appeared on MoneySmart is Singapore’s leading personal finance portal, and aims to help people maximise their money with powerful tools and engaging content.