What you can buy for $700k AUD around the world

By Katy Holliday

The convenience of living in a city centre is unparalleled with access to the best businesses, education centres and lifestyle. But, of course, this all comes with a hefty price tag, particularly in Australia’s largest metro areas.

Renowned for having some of the highest property prices in the world, how does Australia stack up against the rest? Let’s take a look and see what 700k can get you in the heart of cities around the globe.

1. Sydney, Australia - 1 bedroom apartment, Darlinghurst, no parking, $700,000

sydney apartment darlinghurst

At a mere 51 metres squared, this New York inspired apartment is both short and sweet. Situated a footstep from the buzz of the city, it offers light-filled rooms with a leafy aspect and modern appliances.  

What Sydney lacks in affordable housing, it makes up for in lifestyle! With enviable beaches, an ideal climate and a vibrant arts scene and cafe culture, Sydney’s economy powers the rest of the nation. Who could blame you for “champing at the bit” for a 700k slice of the pie?  

Sydney makes for a beautiful brochure, but the reality is that it’s the second most expensive housing market in the world, after Hong Kong. Word is, that might ease up a little this year as the Australian property market cools.

2. Melbourne, Australia - 2 bedroom apartment, Melbourne CBD, with parking, $668,888 - $688,888

Sydney’s rival city certainly offers more value. This luxurious and spacious two bedroom, two bathroom “haven from the hipsters” has sweeping city views from the Collins Tower building. The apartment packs a punch with pool, gym and sauna access and a secure parking space. Take that, Sydney!

Known for being the most liveable city in the world, Melbourne is a creative hub and attracts a diverse crowd with plenty of neighborhood pockets and weekend getaway destinations to explore. Joining Sydney in a property downward phase, housing prices are expected to drop by at least five percent this year.

3. Rome, Italy - 1 bedroom apartment, Trastevere, no parking, $692,350

trastevere apartment

trastevere apartment rome

This quintessential, picture-perfect Roman abode is nestled along a cobblestone alley in the bohemian and medieval village of Trastevere. Rustic tile floors and original exposed ceiling beams combined with modern styling and renovations provides the perfect escape from the hubbub of the tourist pack. It’s a little on the wee side at just 40 metres squared and kinda resembles a hole-in-the-wall wine bar, but when in Rome, as they say…

Packed with authentic charm, bustling markets and historic attractions, Rome is never dull. It might be a bit of a stretch to call it home unless you work remotely or have a secure company job you can relocate with. Otherwise, you may find it hard to put pane and vino on the table, let alone pay off a hefty mortgage! With Italy experiencing an economic recovery, the property market could be about to rise after a consistent downward trend.

4. Hong Kong Island, China - 1 bedroom apartment, Wan Chai, no parking - $692,580

hong kong apartment

Are you thinking of advancing your career in Hong Kong? There may be expat opportunities still up for grabs, but when it comes to real estate Hong Kong really holds back on the luxury. 700K will get you the bare essentials… and we mean bare! This no frills apartment has its own bathroom and gives you a whopping 25 metres squared to freerange in. Despite the lack of space, you’ll be living in the thick of the city.

The Hong Kong market is showing signs of cooling. Prices are still through the roof, but that’s to be expected from the world’s most expensive housing market eight years running!

5. Bangkok, Thailand - 2 bedroom apartment, Sathorn, parking x 2, $685,245

In Bangkok, you can definitely expect more bang for your buck with sleek apartment complexes popping up everywhere. This condo, situated in Sathorn, embraces tropical living with light-filled rooms and a spacious 176 metres squared. The terrace offers city views and common areas include a swimming pool, fitness room, sauna and play area.

You’re spoilt for choice on the Bangkok property market, which is currently at a record breaking high due to a booming Thai economy. The expat market is performing well with large growth over the past five years, an expanding rail network, and more job opportunities. It’s a good time to invest.

6. New York City, United States - Studio, Carnegie Hill, no parking, $679,797

new york apartment

new york apartment outside

Your very own Upper East Side, Manhattan apartment for under 700k… This is what dreams are made of, right? Admittedly, the list of extras is minimal, but, you know, location, location, location! This condo is situated on a tree-lined block moments from Central Park.

You’ll also be paying a common charge and tax for the pleasure which could set you back over 1k per month. But with the perks of broadway, a formidable subway system and a city that never sleeps, don’t let a little thing like money stop you! Trump’s tax overhaul seems to be slowing the Manhattan market anyway, so it could be a buyer’s field day as housing prices become more affordable. Renting an apartment in the New York area would cost you around $1,500 to $2,500 a month.

7. Montreal, Canada - 4 bedroom apartment, Golden Square Mile, parking available $656, 885

montreal bathroom

montreal apartment

Sorry Bangkok, but Montreal has you beat! This architecturally designed four bedroom apartment features a deck with panoramic views of the downtown area, granite top kitchen benches and hardwood floors. The building has a 24hr live-in concierge, rooftop terrace, and gym. And it comes way under budget at $656,885!

Steeped in world-class culture and exquisite architecture, the only downsides to living in the francophone city are the bitterly cold winters, possible faux pas for those who ne parle pas français, and high taxes. As the rest of Canada’s property market cools, Montreal is booming as housing prices increase 6% year-over-year. With a promising and affordable market, it’s easy to see why more and more Aussies are making the move.

8. London, England - 1 bedroom apartment, Charterhouse Square, no parking, $686,157

london apartment building

london building

Technically, this shoebox is a steal! With a leasehold of 999 years (most average about 90 years), an actual share of the freehold, and a central location, it outshines the competition. Don’t get too excited. After all, it’s a basic ground-floor flat with a pull-down bed. This “cosy” apartment comes with a shared swimming pool, gym, sauna and roof garden.

Suffering from the Brexit grasp, the property slump is seeing housing prices continue to fall. For those wanting to get on the property ladder, take advantage of a weak market and purchase your very own piece of London to not-quite-own. You need not apply, however, unless you don’t mind soggy weather and too-close-for-comfort tube commutes.

So how do we compare?

Montreal certainly stands out from the crowd with Bangkok following closely. However, I think Australia stacks up favourably in value and lifestyle against some of the major players like New York, London and Hong Kong. Now click your heels and say, “there’s no place like home”.


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