HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong
Published: 04 Mar 14

Hong Kong beats Singapore as world's most expensive city to work, live in

Work-live cost balloons to $123,000 a year.

According to Savills, Hong Kong is the world’s most expensive city for companies to locate employees, significantly ahead of London and New York, which have been vying for second place over the past two years.

Paris completes 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.

Here’s more from Savills:

The Savills World Cities Live-Work Index reveals that it now costs an average of just under US$76,000 a year per employee to rent residential and office space in a world city, 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. 

While total live-work costs remained broadly stable across the index over the past year, there were exceptions. They rose by a stratospheric 41 per cent in Dubai, albeit from a relatively low base, to rank the city 7th most expensive, although the high costs in part reflect a particularly generous office space allocation per worker, a product of the city’s previously high-supply, low rent era. 

By contrast, costs fell -12 per cent in Mumbai, which ranks as the cheapest location at just US$28,000 per employee per year for all live-work rental costs.

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. ‘New world’ city growth has slowed markedly, albeit this trend has been slightly counterbalanced by the emergence of new world city real estate markets – notably Rio de Janeiro and Dubai.” 

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