Think renting in Sydney is tough? You’re not alone.

Turns out, renting in Sydney is more expensive than in 21 other bustling financial hubs around the world.

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Photo coutesy: RENTCafé

There are many reasons to consider living in a bustling financial centre: There’s easy access to plenty of cultural attractions and constant entertainment, as well as a varied job market. But how much would this lifestyle set you back today?

US-based internet listing service, RENTCafé has published a study on what it costs to rent in the world’s top financial cities and how these urban hubs compare to each other when it comes to monthly rental costs.

But how are these powerhouses ranked?

The Z/Yen Group regularly evaluates the world’s largest cities by factors like competitiveness and transaction volume. Their findings are published twice a year in their Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI).

So, based on their latest release, these are the top 30 financial centres of the world:

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RENTCafé’s study looked at how much a one-bedroom apartment costs in the world’s leading financial centres. Their analysts summed up the average rents for one-bedroom apartments between 55-85 square metres in each of the 30 cities, based on housing market data from various sources. (These include Yardi Matrix in the case of US cities, Point2Homes for Canada and Global Property Guide for most international markets).

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Now, according to the research, all 30 cities offer a competitive environment with plenty of jobs available in the financial sector (if that’s your thing). But that’s where the similarities end because their rents run from one end of the scale to the other.

In Australia

Consider Melbourne as an example. The GFCI ranked Melbourne No. 24 in their latest data release – and, were you to sort these cities by their rents, it shifts to 18th place. What does this mean? There are 17 other financial centers with higher rents than Melbourne. The average rent in Melbourne is US$1,690 (or $2,230) each month for a one-bedroom apartment.

Sydney, on the other hand, ranks 9th on the list. It’s position on this ranking indicates that renters in Sydney will shell out a hefty US$2,040 (or around AUD$2,690) each month for a one-bedroom apartment – around $672 each week. The high costs make it the ninth most expensive financial city in the world to live for renters.

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Photo: iStock/LeoPatrizi.

Looking elsewhere

London may have beaten New York City as the world’s leading financial centre in the GFCI’s latest data, but when it comes to renting costs, NYC is still holding the crown. The average asking rent for a one-bedroom apartment in NYC is now US$3,680 (or AU$4,680) – or roughly twice the cost of a similar apartment in London.

There is good news here – there are a few cities that – despite being a top-performing financial centre – still have relatively low asking rents.

Casablanca is the cheapest financial hub for renters, with apartments asking US$820 (or AU$1,080) each month on average – this is half of London’s rents and 4 times less than the cost of an apartment in NYC.

The following table shows you the full list of cities ranked by average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in USD and AUD.

Want to rent in Sydney or Melbourne for less?

You can search for your next rental property today on


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