Expat housing cost rising fast in popular destinations

Published:  24 May at 6 PM
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Executives are on the move across the world, forcing prices of luxury expat rental accommodation even higher in destinations such as Beijing, New York and the UAE.

The continued weakness of European economies is forcing companies to look to other continents for their ongoing business, with new sectors expanding into emerging markets. Shanghai’s burgeoning automobile industry, the accounting and legal sector in Hong Kong and the financial sectors in the UAE and other Middle Eastern hubs are attracting executive-level workers looking for luxury which suits their high-salaried positions.

The result is an upswing in high-end rentals, even in places unused to rental price surges. Some of the biggest increases have been seen in prime Dubai locations, with two-bedroomed apartment prices surging by over 14 per cent to an average of $3,628 a month, and a similar apartment in a popular Hong Kong location now costing $6,223 a month.

In 11 global cities recently surveyed, rents rose by over 5 per cent in 2012, with average rents in New York now around $ 8,200 a month. The increases are largely down to expat demand, according to a survey by Knight Frank, with corporate lettings accounting for at least 85 per cent of prime rental real estate.

For expat arrivals, convenience is the key, with 100 per cent of those looking to rent in Beijing going for fully furnished apartments, and 90 per cent in Shanghai having similar preferences. On the other hand, just 10 per cent of expat incomers to the New York business scene request furnished condos.

Location and size often take second place to request for luxury interiors, according to the senior VP of Corcoran, Josh Doyle, with many new arrivals more than happy to travel to work if their new home is top of the range. In most other world cities, however, the old rule of ‘location, location, location’ wins out.
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