And the world’s most expensive city for expats is…

Hong Kong is the most expensive city in the world for expats. Pic: Loïc Lagarde/flickr

OWING to its strong dollar, Hong Kong is named the most expensive city in the world for expatriates while four other Asian cities make the top ten.

Human resources consulting firm Mercer recently revealed their annual cost of living rankings which saw Hong Kong leap over Luanda, the oil-rich capital of Angola, in regaining its title as the world’s most expensive city for expats.

According to Financial Times, Hong Kong has the least affordable housing in the world and extremely high rental costs. The monthly rental for an unfurnished two-bedroom apartment in the city can scale up to US$6,800, ahead of New York at US$5,100 and London at US$4,580.

Singapore is fifth in the list

Singapore is the second most expensive Asian city for expats

At fourth place is Singapore, Tokyo climbed six places to fifth place, and Beijing rounded up the top ten.

Marco Ferrero of Mercer said that many Asian cities remain among the most expensive places to deploy expats.

This has not hindered companies from relocating talent [to Asia] as the region continues to offer growth potential and demand for top talents.

Meanwhile, on the decline of Chinese cities in the top ten, Nathalie Constantin-Métral of Mercer said, “Chinese cities fell in the ranking due to the weakening of the Chinese yuan against the US dollar”. She adds that the strengthening of the Japanese yen helped to push Japan up the rankings.

Here are the ten most expensive cities in the world for expats:

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Luanda, Angola
  3. Zurich, Switzerland
  4. Singapore
  5. Tokyo
  6. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
  7. Shanghai
  8. Geneva, Switzerland
  9. N’Djamena, Chad
  10. Beijing

The study measures the value of a dollar against a basket of goods and services typically utilized by expats including accommodation, food, clothing and entertainment.

The survey also revealed that currency fluctuations, cost inflation for goods and services, and instability of accommodation prices contribute to the cost of expat packages for employees on international assignments.