Hong Kong remains the most expensive city in the world for expats to live, according to a new global survey. ECA International’s (ECA) latest cost of living report reveals that the Asian city state is still number one, New York moves further up the ranking, taking over Geneva (third) to secure second place, while London is fourth. The UK capital and New York have seen the sharpest price rises within the top ten amid surging accommodation rental costs – up by a whopping 20% in London and 12% in New York. UK locations included in the study have risen in the cost of living ranking by an average of six places, with Edinburgh now 83rd, Manchester 84th, Birmingham entering the top 100 (99th), Cardiff 101st and Belfast 106th. Moscow (62nd) has witnessed price increases of 17% year on year, says the report. This is because of the additional sanctions imposed on Russia by the West in response to the war in Ukraine. But the weakness of the rouble supported the purchasing power for expats in the Russian capital. Steven Kilfedder, manager at ECA International, says: “As sanctions on Russia start to hit, imports have become scarce and costs have risen significantly and are likely to rise further. While the currency fell in the survey period, capital controls to stop money fleeing the country, have stopped the slide of the rouble.” He adds: “The full, long-term impact of the war and foreign businesses pulling out of Russia on the cost of living in the country will likely not become apparent for some time.”
The top 15 costliest cities around the world includes four Chinese cities, with Shanghai now third in Asia, after Hong Kong and Tokyo. Many countries in this region have experienced above-trend inflation rates in the past year. Singapore’s ranking remained unchanged in 2022, despite significant price rises, with housing rental costs, utilities and petrol prices seeing particular growth.
Looking at Europe, the top ten most expensive cities for expats are: Geneva, London, Zurich, Bern, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stavanger, Reykjavik, Stockholm and Luxembourg City.