At lunch we pondered, how much a hypothetical investor would have to pay for a whole city.

What would the combined value of all real estate in a large city (like Munich) be? Is there a way to estimate this even halfway reliably?

Of course there are buildings, that won't ever be for sale, like public buildings or cultural heritage. These should probably be excluded from the computation.


1 Answer 1


A rough estimation technic consists in (i) getting the half of the Gross Urban Product (GUP), thinking of it as a perpetual yearly net income flow (i.e. a profit flow) attributable to the entire city as such, and (ii) dividing it by the average cost of capital that is immobilized locally, say, $2\%$, minus the GUP's growth rate, say, $1\%$ (both real and assumed constant over an infinite horizon)

In the case of Munich it would be

$\frac{1}{2}\frac{GUP_{2018}}{.02 - .01} = 105\text{E}^{11}€$

$10.5$ trillions euros, actually calculated using the DD Model.

Note that public infrastructures are not excluded from the above valuation since the city is considered as an indivisible whole.

  • $\begingroup$ Any question @user1412631 ? $\endgroup$
    – keepAlive
    Oct 17, 2019 at 11:32

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