Living in: Cities known for art and culture
The housing market has also been very robust for the past four years, in part because of low interest rates and the large number of foreigners relocating to the city. “The market is a seller’s market and demand is much higher than supply,” Hess explained. The most popular districts include the residential St Alban quarter near the Old Town and the leafy Gellertquartier near the Rhine River. “These areas are the most charming areas in Basel, with townhouses and villas from the early 1900s,” Hess said. Farther out, desirable areas include the districts of Bruderholz and Binningen, located south of the Old Town; the municipality of Riehen across the Rhine; as well as the village of Arlesheim, south of the city. Apartment prices across Basel range from 4,000 Swiss francs per square metre for an average property to 12,000 Swiss francs per square metre for a prime location such as St Alban. House prices across the city range from 800,000 Swiss francs per square metre to 3.4 million Swiss francs per square metre. A two-bedroom flat in the Gellertquartier rents around 1,500 to 2,500 Swiss francs a month.
Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong’s flowering art scene and the recent boom of the Chinese and Asian art market has attracted major international galleries to the city, such as Gagosian, Pearl Lam, White Cube and soon Lehmann Maupin, all in the Central neighbourhood. Art Basel is also holding its first Asian fair here from 23 to 26 May, taking over for the local ART HK fair. And across the harbour, construction of the West Kowloon Cultural District is set to begin this year with the first phase completed by 2020. The district will cover an area of 100 acres (the master plan was designed by Foster + Partners) and contain 17 cultural and performing arts venues, including the Xiqu Centre, designed specifically for Chinese opera, and M+, a museum of visual culture. In addition, a high-speed rail to Shanghai and Beijing will depart from the district.
Neighbourhoods such as hip Sheung Wan and Sai Ying Pun, west of Central, and industrial Wong Chuk Hang on the south side of Hong Kong Island have seen an influx of gallerists, artists and chefs. “These areas have been attractive because of improvements in public transport, such as the extension of the MTR,” said Chris Liem, owner of Engel & Völkers Hong Kong. New buildings, such as Centre Stage in Sheung Wan and Island Crest in Sai Ying Pun, have proved extremely popular with residents who want to be near the new restaurants, cafes and shops in these areas, but still have easy access to Central.
“Rental prices are dependent on the location, age and quality of the building,” Liem said. “But generally rent on a 750sqft apartment on Hong Kong Island is around 35 Hong Kong dollars per square foot.” Buyers can expect to pay around 12,000 Hong Kong dollars per square foot for a similar flat.
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Santa Fe, New Mexico
This city in the southwestern United States has been closely associated with artists since the early 20th Century, when painters began to move here, drawn by the area’s vivid desert beauty and indigenous and Hispanic cultures. A Unesco Creative City since 2005, Santa Fe has more than 250 art galleries and numerous museums, nearly half of which are clustered along Canyon Road. The most visited and high profile museum is the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, which contains more than 3,000 pieces of the avant-garde artist’s work. O’Keeffe is closely associated with the landscapes and colours around Santa Fe, a place where she spent much of her adult life.
About 70 miles north, the city of Taos also has a long history as an art colony, and 60 miles to the south Albuquerque is home to a number of galleries near Old Town Plaza and Nob Hill.