Why the cost of real estate in the crowded, slum-packed city of Dhaka rivals Manhattan

A boat carries people to Korail slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Maher Sattar

DHAKA, Bangladesh — Grimy, slum-packed and astonishingly crowded, Bangladesh's capital rarely comes out on top in comparisons with global cities like New York or London. Except, it seems, when it comes to real estate.

Along Gulshan Avenue in the city's central business district, the price of an acre of land is equivalent to $75 million, said Ahsan Mansur, a housing analyst at the Policy Research Institute.

That's approximately $1,700 per square foot. By comparison, land in Manhattan averaged $400 per square foot at the end of last year, according to New York brokerage firms.