By Caroline Thorpe
New research from air-quality monitoring organisation IQAir has revealed the level of air pollution in the world’s capital cities. Here are five homes on the market in the cities with the lowest average levels of PM2.5 particles — pollutants with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres that are linked to increased heart disease, respiratory illness and early death — recorded in 2020. All five cities bettered the World Health Organization’s target for annual average exposure of 10 micrograms per cubic metre.
For a sea breeze
Residents of Charlotte Amalie in the US Virgin Islands were exposed to the lowest levels of PM2.5 recorded in any capital city last year. Situated a 12-minute drive north of the city centre on the island of St Thomas, this five-bedroom beach house has expansive windows and a veranda overlooking Magens Bay. The grounds measure more than 1.5 acres and include a swimming pool. The property is available for $3.88m.
For lofty views
Five patios will allow the new owners of this stylish loft apartment ample access to the fresh air of Stockholm, which was the second-least polluted of global capitals last year. Located in the central Kungsholmen district, the property has three bedrooms, a dressing room and a sauna. It is on the market for Skr44m ($5.3m).
For waterfront living
This spacious sixth-floor apartment in south Helsinki, the third-least polluted capital according to IQAir's research, has 340 square metres of living space and uninterrupted views of the Gulf of Finland. On sale for a guide price of €3.89m, the three-bedroom property has large windows to open for a refreshing gulp of Finnish sea air.
For neo-Georgian style
New Zealand was the country with the eighth lowest level of PM2.5 last year, while its capital Wellington had the fourth lowest level among capital cities. Easy breathing is not the only hallmark of this seven-bedroom house in the north-eastern suburb of Khandallah: the property is a five-minute walk from the dense bush and trails of the 148-acre Khandallah Park. Built in 1929, the NZ$6.6m ($4.74m) home features maple and oak panels, and a climate-controlled wine cellar.
For outdoor space
Tallinn, Estonia, comes fifth in the report’s list of capitals with the best air quality. This four-bedroom house, around 13km by road from the city centre, fronts Tallinn Bay and has views of the capital’s skyline. Outside, there are spacious verandas (main picture, above) and a third of an acre of grounds; inside is a Finnish sauna. It is on the market for €1.7m,
Photographs: Christie’s International Real Estate; Snellman Sotheby's International Realty; New Zealand Sotheby's International Realty; Baltic Sotheby's International Realty