The 10 most expensive cities in the world to live in – 2014. London tops the list, but other results may surprise you!
That London tops the list of the world’s most expensive cities to live in should come as no surprise, especially to its residents or to anyone who has visited recently. But what about obvious competitors like Hong Kong, New York or Tokyo? How do the world’ priciest metropolises stack up? We walk you through the most expensive places to live in the world.
10: Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen isn’t a cheap place to go shopping; the most enthusiastic of Dannebrog-wavers would have to admit that, with a pair of jeans costing over €100 and a 330ml can of fizz setting you back over €3! The upsides? Utilities are on the low side, and the average take-home pay after tax is €2,500 a month. And the view might just be worth it…
9: San Francisco, California, USA
San Francisco’s hills and ocean views have made it a tourist attraction for generations of Americans as well as a final destination for those heading West in search of their own American dreams. But all that Pacific sunlight and crashing breakers come at a price: a bottle of table wine here will cost you as much as €15, but it’s San Fran’s sky-high rents that really hit home. A 3-room apartment will run €3,300 a month, though there’s a lively market, so plenty of people think it’s worth it!
8: Paris, France
Paris is a romantic’s paradise and between the museums and the sights, the relics of history and the opportunities for great honeymoon memories, there’s pressure on Parisian property at every level, pushing prices high. A 3-room city-centre apartment costs about €2,500, though restaurants and wine are predictably cheap, with the latter about €6.00 for an average bottle.
7: Singapore, Singapore
Singapore is one of the world’s great success stories, a city-state in South-East Asia that’s a regional powerhouse. The price for that is escalating costs of living within the city; residence there is desirable and there’s money to be made, meaning it’s an expensive place to live. While prices are high generally – a pair of jeans is about €70.00 – it’s property and, especially, cars that punish the Singaporean wallet. A new VW Golf is €80,000 in Singapore!
6: Lausanne, Switzerland
Switzerland is the world’s bank, and the country’s glittering mountains are the traditional playground of Europeans who’ve made it. As a result, it’s never been a cheap country to live in. But the prices in Lausanne might make even the Swiss raise their eyebrows, with a pair of ordinary shoes costing over €120. Locals can afford it, though; they’re making an average €4,500 a month after tax!
5: New York, New York, USA
So good they named it twice – and charged for both times, judging by some of the Big Apple’s prices. Another big visitor draw with a vibrant local life of its own, New York has some lower-cost options, but some essentials like transport are inescapably pricey, costing around €80 a month for a subway pass, and a city-centre 3-bed apartment is €3, 500 a month to rent, or €6,500 a square metre if you’re buying!
4: Zurich, Switzerland
The Swiss make their second appearance on this list with Zurich, a popular spot for international business meetings. Hope that you too will be on expenses, with a meal for two costing €100 and a bottle of average wine €14! It’s those who want to make Zurich their home who face the sharpest shock: rents are out of step with prices, with a city centre 3-bed apartment costing €3,500 a month to rent – but €12,600 a square metre to buy!
3: Geneva, Switzerland
Geneva has a great university, museums and nightlife. It also has prices that will make the most hardened dream-home window-shopper sit up and take notice; a kilo of chicken breast costs about €25, a cinema ticket €14, a pair of jeans €100. And if you need somewhere to sit down and catch your breath after considering that, watch out: property is Geneva’s most expensive commodity, with city centre apartments running €1,500 for a one-room flat!
2: Oslo, Norway
Norway combines the Scandinavian penchant for generous welfare and high taxation with oil wealth that’s given the country the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund and an average take-home pay after tax of €54, 000; it’s as if the Saudis were socialists. Suffice to say, prices are high. And they’re especially high for eating out and drinking out. A meal for 2? €95. A pair of shoes? €150. Property prices are slightly lower than the cost of consumer goods would suggest, though – Oslo apartments are about €6,000 a square metre to buy but noticeably lower to rent, about €2, 100 a month for a city-centre 3-bed apartment.
1: London, England
Watch your money go up in the Big Smoke. While London can be a costly place to buy consumer goods, it’s transport that’s the number two reason for holes in Londoners’ pockets. A monthly pass for the city’s public transport net costs over €150 and is set to rise; a taxi costs €4.00 before you even go anywhere, and a pint of beer can set you back €3.00 at least.
The greatest contribution to London’s position as the priciest city in the world to live, though, is the price of London property. The city suffers from a housing shortage, a booming luxury property market and active market generally helps to push prices up and while supply is fairly static, demand comes from all over the world. As a result, London property costs about €10,000 per square metre to buy in the city centre, easily leading the world!