How Much Space Does US$1,500 in Rent Get You Globally?

Vancouver and Toronto’s per-square-foot rental price ranked against other “magnetic” world cities 
Joannah Connolly
September 25, 2017

We’ve read the stories that Vancouver and Toronto’s average rents have soared to around $2,000 a month, but how does it compare with other global cities in terms of how much space you get for your money?

Apartment search portal and marketing website took a baseline of US$1,500 a month in rent to see how much space this would get you, and crunched the numbers in 30 “magnetic” cities across the world.

The cities selected – all desirable cities in developed nations – are the top 30 rankings in the 2016 Global Power Index, which ranks economy, research and development, livability, culture, accessibility and the environment.

Toronto is 18th and Vancouver is 28th in the Global Power Index, but where did they place in RentCafe’s price-per-square-foot rankings?

Vancouver is bang in the middle of the pack, in 15th place, with US$1,500 ($1,875) renting you an average of 610 square feet. Vancouver was found to be roughly level with Chicago, at 600 square feet, and Copenhagen, Denmark, at 620 square feet.

Toronto placed 12th, in terms of getting bang for your rental buck – beating out Vancouver’s space with 674 square feet for the same price.

The largest amount of square footage for that monthly rental price was to be found in Istanbul, Turkey, where US$1,500 will rent you 1,899 square feet of living space. This was followed by Shanghai, China, at 1,705 square feet.

The smallest was, predictably, in Manhattan, New York, where for the same rent you’d get to live in just 277 square feet.

London, UK – the Global Power Index’s most “magnetic” city – was RentCafe’s second smallest, at 301 square feet.

Check out RentCafe’s infographic below – you hover over each of the cities to see how much space US$1,500 would rent you.

Joannah Connolly
Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condo, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 22 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio.