However, a separate poll published today by the Economist rates Singapore as the priciest city to live worldwide, as costs in Asia continue to rise.
London comes in second in the list, with New York placing third, just ahead of Paris to complete a list of the top four cities where simply renting living and working space for a single employee costs more than US$100,000 a year by the property consultancy’s calculations.
Combining Residential and Office Rents
The Savills World Cities Live-Work Index, which examines both housing and office costs reveals that it now costs an average of just under US$76,000 a year per employee to rent residential and work space in the world’s leading cities, a 21 per cent increase since 2009, when most city rental markets bottomed out.
In Hong Kong, the cost of living and working space per employee averages US$123,000 a year, 1.6 times more expensive than Singapore, 3.8 times more than Shanghai and some 4.4 times more expensive than Mumbai.
The Economist Places Singapore First
When looking beyond rent, however, Hong Kong may not place so high.
In a survey of the world’s most expensive cities published by the Economist today, the ranks of where it’s most expensive to live – if not to accommodate an employee placed Singapore at the top. Hong Kong, which placed sixth in last year’s study, failed to make it into the top ten for 2014.
Here are the Economist’s results:
3. Oslo, Norway
4. Zurich, Switzerland
6. Caracas, Venezuela
6. Geneva, Switzerland
7. Copenhagen, Denmark
The Economist poll explained that the high cost of living in Singapore was pushed upward notably due to the costs of owning a car. Evidently, if you don’t have a car that esteemed newspaper expects that you will surely perish.
In 2013, Tokyo had placed first, and 2012 had Zurich in poll position.
Yolande Barnes, director of Savills World Research says: “These findings go some way to demonstrating the rebalancing of world economies as more mature ‘old world’ cities demonstrate stable growth in this recovery cycle.”
Creative Space Discounts and Financial District Premiums
The Savills survey shows that costs vary significantly from location to location across most cities in the index, with a real discount for space typically occupied by ‘creative industries’, including tech, compared to prime financial district space.
Hong Kong may be the world’s most expensive city in which to accommodate financial sector staff (who each occupy live-work space costing an average of US$144,000 a year), but it is only the third most expensive for tech and creative employee accommodation. Similarly, second-placed London’s creative space discount of -36 per cent ranks it fourth most expensive for these companies, while New York offers creative companies a space discount of just -16 per cent ranking it second most expensive.