Feeling the strain of the cost of living crisis, the ever-rising gas and electricity bills, and wondering how to pay the next one? Well, let’s take a moment and spare a thought for the ‘unlucky’ few who live in the top 10 most expensive cities in the world.
With food, rent, and transportation prices shooting through the roof, seeing the sky-high cost of living in these countries might give you, at least, some comfort.
The Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) uses research and analysis to produce the Worldwide Cost of Living report, which tracks prices of over 200 goods and services in 172 cities around the world. Worldwide cost of living prices have risen by 8.1% year on year, according to the latest survey.
From fluctuating real estate markets, transport and food costs, to the general rising cost of living driven largely by the Ukraine war for many European cities, read on for the top ten most expensive cities to live in the world.
10. Sydney, Australia
Though Sydney has sought-after beaches and is brimming with green spaces, it’s also battling to keep up with inflation following the covid-19 pandemic. According to the EIU it comes in at 10th place, a place it shares with Copenhagen, Denmark.
Sydney’s exorbitant rent prices play a big role in making this one of the most expensive cities to live in the world, with the weekly rent for a one-bedroom apartment ranging from $450-$550, and a two-bed starting at around $650 per week.
9. Paris, France
The City of Love, famous for fine dining and art galleries, comes in as the 9th most expensive city.
Paris’ real estate prices are partly what makes this iconic city extremely expensive, as well as high retail prices for well-known brands like Adidas or Nike. To buy a 350 square foot studio in Paris would cost over half a million dollars ($520,734). One positive to living here, however, is that earning potential is relatively high.
8. San Francisco, California
Is the golden city made of gold? Rent has always been pricey on the West Coast, but house prices increased a whopping 10% in San Francisco in 2022 compared to the previous year, which has brought the average house price to around $1.5 million. Even for renters to live comfortably in the city, they need to be earning around $100,000 a year.
7. Geneva, Switzerland
The second most populous city in Switzerland, Geneva, like other European cities, has been hit with rising costs of living following the war in Ukraine.
Famous for the world’s tallest water fountain, the Jet d’Eau, the city boasts numerous luxe cafés and shops. But all this comes at a hefty price tag; for a single person, monthly expenses average about $3,500 for food, rent, and transportation.
6. Zurich, Switzerland
This beautiful city ranks number 6 in the world’s most expensive cities to live in. A global financial capital, situated north of Lake Zurich, it’s home to high-end shopping, decadent chocolate shops, and waterfront promenades.
It’s also the most expensive Swiss city to live in, with average rents around $2000 for a single person. What also makes Zurich so expensive, however, is the abundance of well-paid jobs available in the city.
5. Los Angeles, California
It’s no secret that Hollywood loves money, so it’s also no surprise that Los Angeles, California is among the most expensive cities to live in. Its West Coast location, which creates an expensive housing market, high tax rates for residents, and the highest sales tax in the United States [9.5%] all equal a very expensive place to live.
As homebase for Universal and Warner Bros, their ongoing success continues to fuel LA’s booming economy. Movie producers and superstars flock to Malibu Beach and Beverly hills, because they can afford to lay down the big bucks it takes to live in this glamourous city.
4. Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong sits at 4th place in the world’s most expensive cities, thanks to consistently being ranked as having the most expensive housing market in the world.
Due to its scarce land and high population density, any land left that can be used for development is government-controlled, sold for sky-high prices, and subsequently causes extremely high house prices. Hong Kong also has much to offer in terms of its numerous markets, nightlife, and attractions, which also contributes to the expense of living here.
3. Tel Aviv, Israel
From world-famous restaurants to stunning beaches, Tel-Aviv has something for everyone. But all that fun comes with a hefty price-tag.
Tel-Aviv is Israel’s largest city; not only renowned for being a fun place to be, but it is extremely diverse and tourist-friendly. With that said, real estate here is extremely expensive, with monthly rent for a one-bedroom averaging around $1,725.
2. New York, US
The Big Apple also has big rent prices, which have increased by 5% on two-year leases, the sharpest rise in nearly a decade. Rents went up to an average cost of $4,000 for the first time in May 2022, shortly before hitting an average high of $5,000 for the first time in June 2022.
But it’s not just rent that makes this vibrant city so extortionate. There’s the high tax rates, and the variety of entertainment and services that the city offers. New York has a booming economy and attractive job market, which means many people are willing to pay more to live here.
1. Singapore, Singapore
Sliding into first place as the most expensive city in the world is Singapore – though technically it’s a tie for first place with New York City. But Singapore gets the edge since it’s been ranked as the world’s most expensive city for 80% of the last decade.
As it’s such a small city, land is incredibly limited. Demand outweighs supply when it comes to property, making for an extremely competitive real estate market.
The city has few natural resources, relying on imports for natural gas, electricity, and water. Buying a Volkswagen Golf will set you back a whopping $100,000 – more than three times the average price in the United States.
While luxury always come at a price, that doesn’t mean that the world’s most expensive cities also offer the highest standards of luxury. With that said, many of the citizenship and residency programs that Astons connects HNWIs with do.
For a free expert analysis to connect your wants, needs, and demands with the best investment program, contact one of our worldwide offices or simply schedule a free consultation below.