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05 Jun. 2024

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Renting an apartment in Europe: price comparison in major cities

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Renting an apartment in Europe: price comparison in major cities

Rental prices are rising across Europe. This is due to a shortage of available real estate, significant labor migration flows, and the influx of refugees from Ukraine. Find out more about which European cities will have the most expensive rental prices in 2024

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Europe is currently experiencing an acute housing shortage, so rental prices are reaching record highs. Finding a vacant apartment with good conditions is a real challenge with an asterisk. In Zurich, for example, applicants bring gifts for tenants to give them an advantage over the hundreds of other applicants in line. In Dublin and Lisbon, young people are returning to live with their parents in droves. But even in Ireland, with a population of about 5 million people, only about 1,200 residential properties were available as of January 1, 2024.

In Amsterdam, students cannot find accommodation before the start of the school year. As of January 1, 2024, the city lacks more than 200,000 apartments due to rapid population growth.

In Eastern Europe, the main reason for the housing shortage and rising rental prices was the significant influx of refugees from Ukraine after the start of the full-scale invasion. In Estonia alone, prices jumped by 22% at the end of 2023 compared to 2022. Tenants from Tallinn have to move to small towns to find cheaper apartments.


You can find out more about the peculiarities of renting an apartment in Poland here.


Which European cities have the most expensive apartment rentals?


The European rental platform Housing Anywhere has created a rating of housing prices, mostly for one-bedroom or studio apartments. As of the beginning of 2024, the average cost of renting an apartment in Europe increased by 9.6% compared to the previous year.

The rent of one-bedroom apartments went up by 9.1% compared to the previous year. Prices rose the most in Budapest (42.9%), The Hague (27.8%) and Utrecht (25.8%).

Studio rents increased by an average of 10.1% over the past year. The highest price increases were observed in Lisbon (70.3%), Florence (33.3%) and Hamburg (27.4%).


The highest prices for renting a one-bedroom apartment in 2024 were recorded in the following European cities:

1. Lisbon - 2500 euros;

2. Amsterdam - 2300 euros;

3. Utrecht - 1950 euros;

4. Paris - 1802 euros;

5. Munich - 1755 euros;

6. Milan - 1750 euros;

7. Berlin - 1748 euros;

8. The Hague - 1725 euros;

9. Florence - 1700 euros;

10. Rotterdam - 1655 euros.


In the previous article, we told you how much it costs to rent a house in Germany, where to look for apartments, in which cities it is best to rent a house and what are the unobvious additional costs associated with renting.




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Ranking of cities by the cost of renting a house from The Economist


The British magazine The Economist has created a ranking of cities by the affordability of renting a house for one person, which includes 35 cities from London to Ankara.

According to a popular recommendation, no more than 30% of income should be spent on rent. Based on this trend, the publication calculated the annual salary required to live comfortably in an average one-bedroom apartment in each city. The Economist called this the “recommended tenant's salary”.

For London and Geneva, this figure was over $95,000 per year. In these cities, only 1% of residential real estate is unoccupied, which is the reason for the high rents. Ankara took the last place in this rating. An annual income of $18,000 will be enough to rent an apartment on your own.


In addition, the British magazine The Economist has also developed the Bradshaw Index, which compares the “recommended tenant's salary” with the average salary in each city, using data from the ERI Institute for Economic Research, a salary aggregator. The higher the figure, the more affordable it is to rent a home alone.

Budapest became the most expensive city to rent a house in terms of this indicator. In 2023, Hungary experienced high inflation compared to other European countries. Because of this, the cost of renting an apartment in the capital increased by almost 19%.

Lisbon also shows a huge gap between rents and wages. The reason for the rapid growth of rental rates was the influx of “digital nomads” attracted by sunny weather and simplified visa conditions.

German cities are more or less affordable for independent rental housing. For example, in Bonn, you need about $36,000 a year to rent a house. The average annual salary in the city is $63,000. That's why Bonn received the highest score on the Bradshaw Index in The Economist's ranking.


We remind you! Since the beginning of 2010, the cost of housing in European countries has increased by 70% on average. However, there are also countries where real estate prices have remained virtually unchanged during this time. Read more about how housing prices and rental rates have changed in recent years.


Want to know more? Read the latest news and useful materials about Ukraine and the world in the News section.






Daria Rogova, Head of Insurance at Visit Ukraine


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