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Residential costs in key global cities

The additional costs of buying, owning and selling a US$2 million second property in various major cities


Hong Kong

Overseas buyers face an additional 30% stamp duty, making this the most expensive city. There is also a 10-20% penalty for selling within three years.



In 2017, New South Wales doubled stamp duty for foreign buyers to 8% in an effort to cool price rises in Sydney. The city is fourth for overall costs.



Driven by a property transfer tax of 6% and agency costs of 7%, Berlin is the third most expensive city to buy. An exit is easier: there are no costs to sell.



Buyers in Paris face a more evenly weighted split of taxes. Purchase and selling costs are 7% and almost 5% respectively, and holding taxes 4.2%.


New York

While buying costs are low, New York has the highest disposal cost, at close to 8%. For foreign sellers, 10% of the price is withheld until taxes are paid.


San Francisco

As with other US cities, holding and selling costs are high. Over a five-year hold, taxes amount to almost 6% of the price, with selling costs just over 6%.



This is one of the most accessible cities. Although buying costs are close to 10%, low holding (0.7%) and selling (2.3%) costs put London 12th overall.



International buyers will find a low overall cost to buy (5%) and sell (1%) in Dubai. With holding costs of 0%, the city ranks 14th in overall costs.



With no stamp duty and just a US$65 registry fee, Moscow is the cheapest city in which to buy. When it is time to sell, the seller pays the 3.5% agency fee.