Most Expensive Cities in the World
In the United States, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles are among some of the most expensive places to live, especially known for their skyrocketing rent costs. These cities, however, are shy in comparison to the expense of some international cities.
To determine the most expensive cities in the world, the Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed prices of 160 products and services, such as rent, utilities, transportation, food, and more, in cities around the world. The resulting report is designed to help companies calculate the cost-of-living for employees traveling and living abroad. The prices in the analysis are in U.S. dollars, so the list is tied to how much the dollar is worth. Cities that use Euros would need more dollars to purchase something because the Euro is worth more than the dollar. This being said, even though U.S. cities are becoming more expensive each year, they are not at the top of the list due to a weakening dollar, making them less expensive in comparison to other cities in the world.
The ten most expensive cities in the world are:
- Paris, France
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Hong Kong
- Oslo, Norway
- Geneva, Switzerland
- Seoul, South Korea
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Tel Aviv, Israel
- Sydney, Australia
According to the report, Singapore, Paris, and Hong Kong are tied for the most expensive city in the world.
One of the reasons that Singapore is the most expensive is the price of owning a car. According to Expatisan, owning a Volkswagen Golf in Singapore, which usually retails for $20,000 in the U.S., costs the equivalent to over $78,000.
Paris is structurally expensive, with high real estate prices which then translate to high retail prices, such as prices for brands such as Nike or Adidas. Luckily, these high prices are coupled with high salaries.
Hong Kong is consistently ranked as the most expensive housing market due to its high population density and scarce land. The developable land left in Hong Kong is controlled by the government and is sold for skyrocket prices. This, in turn, causes housing prices to be so high. On average, a person who has an annual income of $50,000 would have a home cost of $900,000. Hong Kong is known for being one of the most tax-friendly states; its low taxes made possible by the government’s revenue from selling land. This being said, if property values drop too low, the government could need to rethink its tax revenue system.