Hong Kong leads New York as most expensive city to move to

Planning a new start for the new year? Brace your wallet if you are relocating to Hong Kong, which tops New York as the most expensive city to move to.

Research from online moving platform Movinga compared 75 cities across 51 countries to determine the most expensive location for moving to from another country. New York, San Francisco and Zurich are among the priciest cities to move to, but Hong Kong is the most expensive city for cost of relocating and Seoul, South Korea, is the most affordable. London is the most expensive city for local transport, followed by Dublin and Sydney.

To compile the index, Movinga contacted several moving companies in each city to find the cost of relocating, using the world’s average distance for relocations of 250 km. Next, they calculated the basic costs associated with the first month of living in a new city, from average apartment rents to a month’s data plan and set-up for a mobile phone, plus food and drink and public transport.

In terms of basic costs, their findings reveal that Luanda, Angola, requires highest first month’s budget (£2,594.85), directly above New York and San Francisco, USA. Tunis in Tunisia has the lowest (£316.70).

“Berlin, Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin and Amsterdam; these are all cities that may be preparing for an influx of banking industry workers due to Brexit,” says Movinga’s Managing Director Finn Hänsel. “Among the factors that the directors of the banks will have to take into consideration for relocating will be the cost of relocating for employees. Therefore, studies like this will be very important in the years to come.”

As for the UK, London ranks in position five, with a basic first month living cost of £2,081.37. This is followed by Manchester ranked in position 33, with a basic first month living cost of £1,025.67.


Tokyo is the world’s most expensive location for expats

5th January 2017

Tokyo is now the world’s most expensive location for expats, after the city stormed up the charts to take the top spot.

The Japanese capital was ranked the costliest city in the world for expats by the latest ECA report, the first time it has done so since 2012. All four of the ranked locations in Japan rose in the regional and global rankings. Within Japan, Tokyo (1st globally) is just ahead of Yokohama (5th), Nagoya (7th) and Osaka (9th).

Hong Kong, on the other hand, is now the 11th most expensive location in the world for expatriates, falling from 9th place last year. Over the past five years, Hong Kong has generally risen in the ECA global rankings from 60th in 2011, up 49 places to 11th in 2016. From a regional perspective, it is the 5th most expensive in Asia Pacific with only Japanese locations ranking higher, down from 3rd place this time last year.

The relative strength of the Japanese yen in the survey period pushed all Japanese cities above Hong Kong in the rankings.

Indeed, Shanghai, which was ranked as the most expensive location for expatriates in the Asia Pacific region a year ago, has moved down six places to 7th. Within China, Shanghai (13th globally) is just ahead of Beijing (15th), Guangzhou (25th) and Shenzhen (32nd). 13 out of the 14 ranked Chinese cities sit in the global top 50 most expensive locations for expatriates, with only Xiamen ranking just outside at 51st.

“We have seen a small depreciation of the renminbi against the yen and HK dollar over the past year and this has led to Shanghai and Beijing falling below Tokyo and Hong Kong in the rankings,” says Lee Quane, Regional Director – Asia, ECA International.

Singapore is now the 16th most expensive location in the world for expatriates, rising from 18th place last year, boosted by the nation’s dollar appreciating against most major currencies.

Indeed, with currency fluctuations playing a large part in the costs that face expats, Brexit’s weakening of the pound has seen UK cities fall down he global rankings, as they become more affordable. Central London has dropped out of the top 100 most expensive cities in the world. One year ago, London was among the top 50 most expensive cities.

“This is the first time Central London has not featured in the top 100 since ECA’s Cost of Living rankings began. The weakened pound means that UK businesses are paying more when sending staff to work overseas, although it is cheaper to bring staff to the UK”, explains Steven Kilfedder, Production Manager, ECA International. “London is now cheaper than Paris, Berlin and Brussels thanks to the weak pound”.

UK based locations have seen the largest declines in our European rankings this year and the third largest decline in the world, behind Nigeria and Mozambique. Edinburgh has fallen to 151st place globally, down from 67th last year. Cardiff is now ranked at 162nd place and Belfast has dropped 73 positions to 169th in 2016.

Photo: tetedelart1855