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Why two of the most expensive cities in the world still attract investors around the globe


Often hailed the “Capital of the 21st Century”, London is shaping up to be one of the hottest cities in the world. However, the allure of New York never goes out of style, with The Big Apple still being one of the most popular cities to call home.

While it may seem difficult to compare such vibrant cities on either side of the Atlantic, it turns out they both have quite a lot in common, and this is especially true when examining the most affluent markets. Taking a look at areas such as Mayfair, one of London’s oldest neighborhoods, alongside the stylish Upper East Side, it can be seen that both have plenty to offer those who enjoy the finer things in life…



There are 5,100 permanent residents in Mayfair, while the Upper East Side is home to 206,908 residents. Geographically of course, the Upper East Side spans far more space, covering 4.56 km².

Cost of buying

In Mayfair, property priced at £1 million or less is rapidly disappearing, and similarly on the Upper East Side, real estate here is expensive and highly sought-after. The Global Property Guide lists London has being the second most expensive city when it comes to renting and buying property; in January 2014, it was reported that the average price per sq. ft. in Mayfair was £2,320, a figure substantially higher than that of the Upper East Side, which was just £796.

Cost of renting

For those who can’t afford to get on the property ladder, opting to rent in either market will still prove expensive. TransferWise reveals the average monthly rent for a 120 sq. m. flat in London to be $6,856, while for the same size apartment in New York, it is marginally cheaper at $6,553.

Transport - London

Transportation links

There are five airports within reach in London, compared with three in New York. However, when it comes to local public transport, NYC’s subway system comes out ahead of the tube. With 1.65 billion users compared with 1.2 billion on the tube, the subway has 249 miles of track and runs 24 hours a day. It goes farther, runs for longer and more people use it, and yet the subway is still less expensive than the tube. Users can pay $2.75 for a single subway fare, compared with $7.30 for a single ride on the London Underground.

Culture and Entertainment

Both London and New York are cultural meccas, home to film festivals, theatre districts (The West End and Broadway respectively), museums, art galleries, events and a great deal more each year. As far as culture and entertainment goes, both NYC and London are fairly evenly stacked.

Dining out and local cuisine

London’s food scene has certainly stepped up to be a contender in recent years, but this is still one area in which New York truly excels. There are a staggering 126 Michelin star restaurants in NYC, not to mention a huge variety of cheap street eats, authentic multicultural cuisine, and fast food options for those on the go. Of the world’s top 100 restaurants, nine are found in NYC, compared to just five in London.


Cost of living

London has topped a list of the most expensive cities in the world to live and work; it was revealed that the cost of living and work accommodation per person in London was £80,777 ($112,800), while in NYC, the same costs totaled £79,680 ($111,300).

Crime rates

According to Numbeo, the cities are relatively similar when comparing crime rates. New York experiences a “moderate” level of crime (51.29), with London having the same level and a slightly higher ranking at 56.09.

Quality of life

The Mercer Quality of Life survey compares 221 cities, looking at metrics such as relationships with other countries, crime and corruption rates, health and public services, and political stability. Based on this, the report ranked London at no. 38, while New York wasn’t far behind at no. 47.


Sonia is the heart and the artist of the team. She loves art and all that it implies. As Sonia says, good music, a well directed movie, or attending a music or film festival melts people’s heart and make them better. She is great at painting and photography. Working on scrapbooks is her favorite activity.