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The true cost of personal space in Europe’s major cities


New research from financial experts TotallyMoney explores the average cost and amount of space offered per person in different cities across Europe.

Research revealed Athens as the city with the most confined space, with only 133.31m2 for each person costing £1,287 per square metre in contrast to 585m2 in Ljubljana in Slovenia which costs £2,881.

But which other major cities are least spacious?

  • Brussels, Belgium – Belgians also find themselves cramped with 137.34m2 for each person with a hefty cost of £2,776 per square metre.
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands – Amsterdam comes third in the most cramped city with 162.27m2, per person setting the dutch back by £5,676 per square metre.
  • London, United Kingdom – London is the most expensive city per square metre costing a substantial £12,930 with only 177.56m2 available per person.

Crammed into The Acropolis – Athens Offers The Least Space Per Person

  • New research from TotallyMoney finds the cities with the biggest populations in the smallest area
  • The Greek capital offers only 133m2 per person – in contrast to a massive 585m2 in Ljubljana in Slovenia
  • London properties are the most expensive per square metre in Europe

Ljubilant Slovenians and Italians with Space to Roam in

While Athenians and Belgians find themselves the most cramped (with 133.31m2 and 137.34m2 for each person, respectively, both about half the size of a tennis court), other cities were less dense. For a breath of fresh air, you might want to try living in:

  1. Ljubljana, Slovenia – Not only are properties on the affordable side in the Slovenian capital (fourth cheapest in the research at £2,881 per square metre), they also have 585.51m2 each in the city – about 1.7 times the size of an IMAX screen.
  2. Rome, Italy – When in Rome… Enjoy the 447.13m2 of space available for each person. That’s 9/10 the size of a basketball court.
  3. Bern, Switzerland – The Swiss get 387.78m2 (quarter the size of a hockey rink) to themselves. That’s more than double what Londoners have (where it’s 177.56m2 per person).
  4. Lisbon, Portugal – While locals have plenty of space to themselves – 354.81m2 – they are also among the cities with the lowest salary-to-property price ratio, meaning they can only buy 0.2m2 with a month’s worth of salary.
  5. Nicosia, Cyprus – Nicosia residents don’t share the Portuguese problem – in addition to their 339.72m2 per person, they can afford to buy 0.7m2 with a month of salary, more than anywhere else in Europe. That’s just enough space for an average fridge.

London Living

London fared poorly in the research – not only is it the fourth densest location included, with only 177.56m2 per person (about the size of 150 bath towels), the price of property was the highest, at £12,930 for a square metre of a house.

To put that into context, it shared the lowest salary-to-property price ratio with Lisbon, Rome, and Paris, despite having the second highest monthly salary in Europe, after Switzerland.

In other words – the only thing London has room for is improvement!

Joe Gardiner, TotallyMoney’s Head of Brand and Communications, said: “In big cities, it can feel like you’re surrounded by people – especially if you commute on public transport. But it’s surprising how much disparity there is across Europe in terms of space – and especially that Athens is the most packed.

In terms of prices, it won’t be a shock as to the most expensive locations – London, Bern, and Paris. But we hope this study highlights how far your money can go in other locations.”


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