Global financial services centers don't necessarily offer a great quality of life. Mercer's Quality of Living Report for 2014 didn't rank any in the top five cities globally, and put London and New York City outside the top five places to live regionally in Europe and North America.
Even so, the big finance cities aren't so bad if you can afford them. Renting in London is famously expensive. The British press erupted in outrage this week when it became apparent that a house in Mayfair is on the market for £65k a month (although our research suggests this is 'cheap'). Unsurprisingly, London-based U.S. financiers have reportedly been complaining about the cost of housing to headhunters in Manhattan.
By comparison, renting across New York costs an average of $3k a month, compared to $1k a month across the U.S. as a whole, but you can easily pay $8k+ in areas like Soho and Tribeca. Unlike London, Manhattan's rental market is going off the boil according to the New York Times. So is Singapore's, where prices have risen 60% since 2009.
If money is, genuinely, no object, what can you rent now in London, New York City and Singapore?
London: £173k per month for this 7 bedroom detached house in Mayfair
'The Cloister' is marketing the seven-bedroomed, seven bathroomed house above, situated in London's hedge fund district for an eye-watering £173k ($288k) a month. For that fee you will also get an indoor swimming pool, spa, massage room, cinema room and car lift. It's not clear whether you can also bring pets and small children.
London: £108k ($180k) a month for a seven bedroom house in Hampstead
If you don't want to live in the thick of things in London, you could always move out to Hampstead, where the fine residence above is on offer through Knight Frank. For £108k a month you get seven bedrooms, five bathrooms, a gym, a swimming pool and a 'driveway.'
Manhattan: An apartment with a cavernous bathroom near Central Park for $65k a month
[caption id="attachment_164228" align="alignnone" width="427"] This is just the bathroom[/caption]
New York's rental market doesn't seem to be on a par with London's, but if you feel like spending $65k a month on rent, you could go for a five bedroomed town house on 73rd Street near Central Park (bathroom shown above, marketed through Sotheby's International Realty). This comes with "gracious high ceilings", an original parquet floor, and "mechanicals."
New York: $35k a month for a Soho Penthouse with a 'sculptural ebony monolith fireplace'
[caption id="attachment_164229" align="alignnone" width="575"] Fireplace is a feature[/caption]
If you want something a little more modern, you could go for the Soho Loft in the photo above, marketed through the StreetEasy site. This allows pets, has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, dressing rooms designed to house the 'most extensive wardrobe collections,' and an LED color lighting system with 10 ambient mood settings.
Singapore: S$55k (US$43k) a month for a condominium in 'The Marq' on Paterson Hill
'Paterson Hill is reportedly the world's fifth most expensive street. The Marq on Paterson Hill is the most expensive block of condominiums on this most expensive street. A five bedroom apartment (with a maids room) there will cost you US$43k a month. For that, you will also get a concierge service, a balcony, and a lap pool.
Singapore: S$25k (US$20k) a month for an apartment at the Orchard Residences
Singapore's second most desirable and costly place to live is Orchard Residences, a 56-storey tower containing 175 'super-luxury' apartments. Renting an apartment there will cost you around S$25k a month, for which you will get a bathtub, a hairdryer, a washing machine and a walk in wardrobe. If this sounds fairly standard, the building's special ingredient is seemingly located on the 9th floor, where you will find a private orchard creating 'spring time botanic ambience' for the residents.
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