Hong Kong becoming more expensive
Hong Kong is increasingly becoming one of the most expensive cities for international movers to live in, according to ECA International.
The consulting firm revealed in its Cost of Living study that the former British colony has, in the last 12 months alone, jumped a massive 26 places in the rankings to become the 32nd most costly location in the world.
While the ascent up the table is impressive enough, Hong Kong is now considered to be more expensive to live in for expats than Manhattan (36th) and Paris (42nd), although it is by no means the most expensive place in Asia.
Beijing (22nd), Shanghai (26th) and Singapore (31st) have all become increasingly more costly, as prosperity slowly returns to their shores much more prominently than their western counterparts.
ECA International added that rising living costs for foreigners is the product of inflation, as well as the availability of goods and exchange rates. This has a “significant impact on assignee remuneration packages”.
“Over the past 12 months, we have seen the cost of our representative basket of goods and services in Hong Kong increase by 6.7 per cent – slightly more than the regional average,” commented Lee Quane, regional director of ECA International’s Asia division.
“At the same time, the Hong Kong dollar’s peg to a stronger US dollar is making the SAR more expensive for many companies sending employees there on assignment,” he said.
The rise in cost of living in Asia has been marked over the last three years. In part, it is to do with the fact that these economies were not as deeply hit by the financial crisis of 2008, and the fact that they are less developed than highly industrialised western nations.
So while Asian countries can get their economies back on track through investing in infrastructure projects, for example, their Western counterparts, who lack the same kind of scope, struggle to find legitimate solutions for sustainable growth.
That’s not to say European countries are not comparatively much more expensive to live in, only that Asian nations are catching them up. Norwegian cities remain expensive, with Oslo (3rd) and Stavanger (8th) staying strong in the top ten.
Equally, Swiss cities continued to rank highly, with Zurich in 9th position, Geneva in 10th and Bern in 11th. It is all about balance though. While Switzerland on the whole might be costly to live in, it does offer an extremely high quality of life.
Tokyo remains the most expensive city in the world to live in for expats, followed by Nagoya (also in Japan), Norway’s Oslo and, surprisingly, Angola’s Luanda.