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Where The Next Real Estate Bubbles Are Inflating

In real estate, pricing is relative. It would surprise no one that the most expensive real estate markets in the world are the most densely populated. There are simply few, if any, places to build, so prices stay high and keep rising. Of course, that doesn't mean that prices in the most-expensive markets are fair. In a recent survey, the Swiss-based bank UBS compiled a list of the most expensive cities in their Real Estate Bubble Index. While Hong Kong, for example, may qualify as one of the most densely populated an exciting cities in the world, it would take you more than 20 years to be able to afford an average-priced apartment, according to UBS. How does Hong Kong compare to the last city on its list (Chicago)? It would take you about five years to buy a place in the Windy City. So it's easier to buy something in Chicago as opposed to Hong Kong or Toyko. "Prices continue to soar," UBS notes, "but in half of the cities in the study, housing markets are booming with inflation-adjusted prices rising at least 5% in the last four quarters.