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10. Shanghai

$1,820 – $2,020 per sq. ft. ($19,600 - $21,700 per sq. m)

Average price change in 2012: +10.8%

Shanghai saw double-digit growth once again in 2012, with prices up by 10.8 percent. However, experts are worried the market may be overheating, with the cost of a home in Shanghai now around 45 times the average resident's annual salary.

These concerns prompted the Chinese government to announce cooling measures on March 4, including the stricter enforcement of a 20 percent capital gains tax on home sale profits. This spooked investors, dragging the Shanghai property sub-index lower by 9.3 percent, its biggest daily loss since 2008.

SHX | Flickr | Getty Images