London Tops The World’s Most Expensive City

30.10.14

According to international agents Savills, London has become the world's most expensive city for companies to locate employees, overtaking Hong Kong, which had previously topped the ranking for an unbroken five year period. New York and Paris complete the pack of four leading cities, where the combined costs of renting residential and office space top US$ 100,000 per employee per year.

These four cities have dominated the Savills Live/Work Index top 12 world cities since 2008, reflecting the relative stability of both the residential and commercial markets of more mature global cities post downturn compared to the more recently emerged new world Meccas.

The index measures the total costs per employee of renting living and working space on a US dollar basis. Fluctuations in total live/work costs reflect not only the strength of a city's residential and office markets and occupier taxes and costs, measured at a local level, but also the impact of fluctuating exchange rates on the cost of doing business on a world stage.  It is this that has contributed in large part to London's recent ascendency in the rankings.

At the other end of the table, comparatively affordable Rio de Janeiro and Sydney have seen significant increases in live-work costs since 2008, up 85% and 58% respectively, though Rio still looks highly competitive at just US$ 32,000 per person.  Mumbai retains its position as the cheapest world city, at US$ 30,000 per person per year, down -21% in US dollar terms since 2008.

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