10 countries with the best quality of life

7. Norway 5-year price growth: 28.7 percent   Switzerland and Norway are the only European countries to make the list of the world's hottest housing markets.   Unlike most European nations that face a gloomy economic outlook, oil-rich Norway is set to expand 2.7 percent in 2012. Low interest rates have led citizens to take on debt to buy property contributing to a jump in prices that gained 6.8 percent year on year in March.   Another incentive for Norwegians to buy property is a 28 percent tax deduction on interest payments. An unexpected cut in interest rates to 1.5 percent in March further raises the risk of an already developing housing bubble.   In February, the IMF warned that Norwegian home prices were up to 20 percent overvalued. According to government figures, housing prices are seen to be growing almost twice as fast as wages this year. Housing prices in the west coast city of Stavanger , which is the capital of the country’s oil industry, rose 92 percent between 2005 and 2011.   Pictured left: The waterfront of Bergen, Norway.   Photo: Connie Coleman | Getty Images

View gallery

10 photos

Canadians have the third-best overall well-being amongst developed countries, according to the OECD's Better Life Index. The Index measures 36 of the world's most-developed countries across a number of criteria. This ranking is based on an average score across those criteria.

View Comments (0)