Oxford may have knocked the California Institute of Technology off of the top spot in the latest world university rankings, but despite having the label of the UK’s most unaffordable city to live, the historic university town isn’t home to the most expensive property around the world.

Online estate agent, eMoov.co.uk, has highlighted where in the latest top 100 university world rankings is home to the most expensive property price. eMoov looked at the average property price per square meter across all 100 universities and found that a property in cities home to the world’s most prestigious academic institutions will set you back, on average, £5,245 a square meter, climbing to £7,496 across those in the UK.  

Despite its tendency to fuel the UK market and being home to four top 100 universities, London is not top of the pile for property price. However, the top three is dominated by a former British Colony and at £17,646 per a square meter, Hong Kong is home to the most expensive property price in the top 100 university rankings with the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the Chinese University of Hong Kong all making the list.

At £16,331, London is the second most expensive city in the top 100, with the Imperial College London, University College London, the London School of Economics and Political Science and King’s College London all ranking highly.

The University of Tokyo is the eight most expensive at £14,221 per square foot with the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University also in Singapore, completing the top 10 at £13,664.

The 10 cheapest university cities are dominated by the United States, with University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign the cheapest of the lot at just £783 per a square meter.

Of the other UK universities in the list Oxford came 39th (£4,410), Cambridge came 45th (£4,061), Bristol was 56th (£3,502), Warwick 62nd (£3,000), Edinburgh was 63rd (£2,879), Manchester placed 71st (£2,467), Durham 75th (£2,300) and Glasgow finished 78th (£1,995).

The latest results are certainly testament to the quality of higher education available in the United Kingdom with more than 10% of the entrants located her, and for that we should count ourselves very lucky. That said, the escalating cost of fees when attending university has seen it slip out of reach for many and even the cheapest on the list, Durham, would cost well over £1,000 per a square meter to purchase a property in the area.

One silver lining that this research does highlight however, is that at least London isn’t the most expensive where the average property price is concerned.

Russell Quirk

Founder & CEO, eMoov.co.uk

Ranking UK University Average Apartment Price per Square Meter
1 University of Oxford £4,410
4 University of Cambridge £4,061
8 Imperial College London £16,331
15 University College London £16,331
25 London School of Economics and Political Science £16,331
27 University of Edinburgh £2,879
36 King’s College London £16,331
55 University of Manchester £2,467
71 University of Bristol £3,502
82 University of Warwick £3,000
88 University of Glasgow £1,995
96 Durham University £2,300
Rank University Location Price to buy in the city (per sq meter)
1 University of Hong Kong Hong Kong £17,646
2 Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Hong Kong £17,646
3 Chinese University of Hong Kong Hong Kong £17,646
4 Imperial College London London £16,331
5 University College London London £16,331
6 London School of Economics and Political Science london £16,331
7 King’s College London London £16,331
8 University of Tokyo Tokyo £14,221
9 National University of Singapore Singapore £13,664
10 Nanyang Technological University Singapore £13,664
11 Stanford University United States £12,741
12 Columbia University United States £10,975
13 New York University United States £10,975
14 ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich Switzerland £10,942
15 École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Switzerland £9,440
16 Seoul National University South Korea £9,383
17 Peking University China £8,404
18 Tsinghua University China £8,404
19 École Normale Supérieure France £8,034
20 Karolinska Institute Sweden £7,824
21 California Institute of Technology United States £7,689
22 University of Sydney Australia £7,437
23 University of New South Wales Australia £7,437
24 University of Basel Switzerland £7,080
25 University of California, Santa Barbara United States £6,882
26 Boston University United States £6,625
27 LMU Munich Germany £6,551
28 Technical University of Munich Germany £6,551
29 Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States £5,554
30 Harvard University United States £5,554
31 University of Helsinki Finland £5,436
32 University of Freiburg Germany £5,364
33 University of British Columbia Canada £5,257
34 University of Amsterdam Netherlands £4,642
35 University of Melbourne Australia £4,549
36 Monash University Australia £4,549
37 University of California, Los Angeles United States £4,531
38 University of Southern California United States £4,531
39 University of Oxford United Kingdom £4,410
40 University of Washington United States £4,350
41 University of Maryland, College Park United States £4,350
42 Aarhus University Denmark £4,276
43 University of California, Irvine United States £4,197
44 University of California, Berkeley United States £4,124
45 University of Cambridge United Kingdom £4,061
46 University of Queensland Australia £3,948
47 University of Toronto Canada £3,813
48 University of California, San Diego United States £3,764
49 University of Tübingen Germany £3,719
50 Uppsala University Sweden £3,581
51 Australian National University Australia £3,568
52 Kyoto University Japan £3,558
53 Humboldt University of Berlin Germany £3,543
54 Free University of Berlin Germany £3,543
55 Technical University of Berlin Germany £3,543
56 University of Bristol United Kingdom £3,502
57 University of Texas at Austin United States £3,442
58 Heidelberg University Germany £3,218
59 Lund University Sweden £3,133
60 University of California, Davis United States £3,091
61 Utrecht University Netherlands £3,038
62 University of Warwick United Kingdom £3,000
63 University of Edinburgh United Kingdom £2,879
64 Leiden University Netherlands £2,584
65 KU Leuven Belgium £2,575
66 University of Groningen Netherlands £2,575
67 Maastricht University Netherlands £2,575
68 University of Chicago United States £2,489
69 Northwestern University United States £2,489
70 University of Pennsylvania United States £2,481
71 University of Manchester United Kingdom £2,467
72 RWTH Aachen University Germany £2,403
73 Princeton University United States £2,378
74 McGill University Canada £2,370
75 Durham University United Kingdom £2,300
76 Delft University of Technology Netherlands £2,274
77 Erasmus University Rotterdam Netherlands £2,242
78 Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) South Korea £2,061
79 University of Glasgow United Kingdom £1,995
80 Georgia Institute of Technology United States £1,977
81 Emory University United States £1,977
82 Wageningen University and Research Center Netherlands £1,931
83 University of Minnesota United States £1,822
84 Brown University United States £1,815
85 Dartmouth College United States £1,815
86 University of Michigan United States £1,790
87 University of Wisconsin-Madison United States £1,716
88 Johns Hopkins University United States £1,711
89 Rice University United States £1,552
90 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill United States £1,515
91 Yale University United States £1,488
92 Ohio State University United States £1,486
93 Cornell University United States £1,413
94 Duke University United States £1,273
95 Pennsylvania State University United States £1,262
96 Washington University in St Louis United States £1,211
97 Carnegie Mellon University United States £998
98 University of Pittsburgh United States £998
99 Purdue University United States £883
100 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign United States £783
Average Top 100   £5,245
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