London and New York vie for the top place based on a range of metrics, including international prominence, economy and investment potential.
The top cities for residential investment returns are Tokyo, New York and Paris, while Tokyo, Sydney and Paris take the top rankings for commercial yields.
According to property experts Savills, which compiled the report, Mumbai, Honk Kong and shanghai are the hottest property markets, while New York, Sydney and Moscow are the coolest.
The top 12 cities are:
- New York and London
- Paris and Singapore
- Hong Kong
- Rio de Janeiro
“A world city is based on more than size and economic prosperity, but a lot of other factors that make a city work as a place to live,” said Yolande Barnes, of Savills. “These other factors include fame, international reputation and the returns on property investment.
“These factors appeal to entrepreneurs who generate the wealth. This has an effect on property prices and how stable the market is. It’s not only the population and GDP that counts.”
A shift in the world economy is also altering the map of global cities.
For some years since the global financial crisis, the rising start was in the east, but this is beginning to reverse as western economies get back on track.
Rents and yields
Mumbai and Hong Kong have slipped back a little in the ratings as a result, while London and New York have pulled a little further ahead.
For property investors, Savills has compared yields from rents with the local government’s 10-year bonds.
Tokyo stands out as giving the highest return on investment, with some high yields in New York.
But the firm warns the property markets are very different in each of the world cities.
“New York and Sydney are well-placed for an increase in values, while London and Dubai look like they are punching above their weight and due to cool,” said Barnes. “In terms of property, we expect investors to start looking outside of the top cities to the second or third ranked places which offer greater scope for profit.”