HK drops to 6th most expensive city

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 July, 2008, 12:00am

Hong Kong has dropped a spot - but it's still one of the 10 most expensive cities for expatriates, according to a survey to be released today.

Mercer's Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2008 looked at the comparative cost of over 200 items - such as housing, transport and food - in 143 cities earlier this year.

Hong Kong, which was fifth in 2007, comes sixth on the new list.

'Although the traditionally expensive cities of Western Europe and Asia still feature in the top 20, cities in Eastern Europe, Brazil and India are creeping up the list,' said Yvonne Traber, a principal and research manager at Mercer.

'Conversely, some locations such as Stockholm and New York now appear less costly by comparison.'

Moscow, for the third straight year, is the most expensive city for expatriates, according to Mercer, a consulting, outsourcing and investment services company.

'Moscow's position as the most expensive city for expatriate living has been strengthened by the appreciation of the rouble against the US dollar and the continually rising accommodation costs,' Ms Traber said.

Tokyo follows Moscow. The Asian city gained two places, and is in second place this year. London, which was second in 2007, has dropped into third place. Oslo, 10th last year, bounced back to fourth. And Seoul fell two spots to fifth.

New York managed 22nd place. It was the only North American city to appear in the top 50, Mercer reported. 'The decline in the ranking of all US cities is due to the weakening value of the dollar against most major world currencies,' said Mitch Barnes, principal at Mercer in the US.