The world's most expensive of luxury property can be found in the tiny tax haven of Monaco, while Dubai slides into the global ranking at number 19, according to international property consultants Knight Frank.
The 2013 list of the 20 priciest luxury home markets shows most are in Europe, while Asian cities also feature heavily.
Monaco – which boasts the most millionaires and billionaires and the highest gross domestic product per capita (US$153,177) in the world - tops the list, with luxury properties costing between US$57,600-63,700 per square metre during the fourth quarter of 2012.
The extraordinary price tag is at least double all of the other cities on the list except three.
Hong Kong comes in second with prices between US$49,200 and US$54,400 per sqm, followed by London (US$41,900-US$46,300 per sqm) and Geneva (US$29,300-US$32,400 per sqm).
Dubai’s luxury property costs only one-tenth of Monaco’s, at US$5600-US$6200 per sqm.
Knight Frank said the demand for luxury property was returning following the global financial crisis and a desire to invest in locations considered to be safe havens.
Wealthy people were also prepared to move their money out of cities that charged higher levies and had less transparency. A significant proportion – including 61 percent in the Middle East - were considering, even temporarily, changing their country of residence to avoid higher property fees, the Knight Frank survey found.
The Middle East’s wealthy (considered to be worth at least US$30 million) also were increasingly fuelling the global luxury property market.
Searches for luxury property on Knight Frank’s global website from the Middle East rose about 32 percent in 2012 compared to 2011, with Kuwait registering more than 70 percent increase in interest.
There also was significant new interest from Qatar and Saudi Arabia.