HK$60 for a coffee? Hong Kong is world’s most expensive place to live, survey shows

Strong currency helps propel city ahead of Luanda, Zurich and Singapore

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 June, 2016, 1:18pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 June, 2016, 3:14pm

From a cup of coffee to gasoline to a two-bedroom apartment, Hong Kong has moved a notch higher to become the world’s most expensive place to live this year, according to a survey.

The city replaced Luanda of Angola as No 1, with Zurich in third place and Singapore in fourth, human capital consulting firm Mercer revealed on Wednesday.

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Currency played a key role. The Hong Kong dollar, for example, has remained strong along with the US dollar, to which it is pegged.

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Hong Kong beats the rest of the world in terms of the cost of a cup of coffee including services, at US$7.77 (HK$60); a litre of unleaded 95 octane gasoline, at US$1.79; and an unfurnished two-bedroom apartment in an appropriate neighbourhood, at US$6,809 per month.

Mercer’s Hong Kong Information Solutions Business Leader Connie Leung said the city remained attractive to expats despite its costly living standards.

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“One of the key reasons is that, due to global market changes and the market potential in Asia, more and more international assignees from the United States or Europe recognise there are excellent opportunities for career development and exposure,” she said.

“The pay level in Hong Kong is relatively high compared to most of the cities in the world, which offsets the impact of being the most expensive city.”