These Are the Most Resilient Cities in 2022


Focusing on real estate, economy, technology and environment, Savills has ranked the most “resilient” cities in the world. We look at which locations are best placed to face future challenges—and which real estate markets came out on top. 

Since the onset of the pandemic, people worldwide have had to adapt to new ways of living and working, whilst countries have faced economic disruption, turbulent markets, and fluctuating currencies.

In the midst of this, we are seeing widespread migration back to major metropolitan areas.

The “resilience” of our world cities has never been more relevant.

In their Resilient Cities Index 2022, real estate company Savills explores which cities are best placed to adapt to future economic and environmental challenges. The index assesses 500 cities based on their real estate market, economic strength, knowledge economy and technology, and environmental resilience—and then ranks them accordingly.

Savills published a previous index in 2016. Five years later, New York and London have held onto the top spots. The US continues to dominate the index, making up over half of the top 20, with cities such as Miami, Washington DC, and Houston rising in the rankings.

Other cities to make the top 20 include Tokyo, Seoul, Berlin, Paris, Singapore, Sydney, and Shanghai.

Resilience – in real estate terms

For each category in the index, Savills has put together a separate ranking. We’re going to look at which cities are considered the most “resilient” in real estate terms.

In the index, real estate markets around the world are assessed on their liquidity, their balance of domestic and international investors, and the strength of their property rights.

Los Angeles ranks 1st in real estate terms, rising from 2nd place in 2016.

With a reputation for selling for the full asking price and providing lucrative returns, the LA real estate market has a long history of attracting global attention. Today, LA continues to be a seller’s market, with demand greatly outstripping supply.

10 out of the top 12 most resilient real estate markets were in the US. New York was listed second, accompanied at the top by Dallas, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Miami, to name a few.

Despite soaring inflation and higher mortgage rates, the median US home price in August was still nearly 8% higher than a year ago (Forbes). MBA economists forecast a 9.8% yearly increase by the end of 2022, and a more modest growth of 2.8% next year.

London ranked seventh but remains the most international real estate market in the world. The city registered $31.9 billion of deals in 2021, with over 60% of investment activity involving cross-border capital. It has proved resilient despite Brexit and the economic pressures of recent years, with Prime London property emerging as a particularly desired asset.

The UK market is set to be challenged by a steep rise in borrowing costs. However, the decline in the value of the pound, coupled with recent stamp duty changes, will help to attract domestic and international investors to London’s property scene.

Global trends in real estate

On a global scale, it seems that real estate remains a stable form of investment. Domestic buyers are turning to property as an inflation hedge, whilst international investors are keen to capitalise on the exchange rates that are working in their favour.

Last year, property investments equated to more than $1.3 trillion, reflecting an increase of 59% from the previous year and 22% from 2019.

Rising cost of living around the world is leading to a decline in affordability, which will naturally put pressure on the market. Many experts are predicting a cooling of global housing markets – which will enable investors to expand their portfolios at lower prices.

In light of all of this, it will be interesting to see if Savills index rings true in the years to come.

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