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Asia still has some of the world's most expensive, cheapest cities for expats


Property Report

Tokyo is still the most expensive location in Asia-Pacific while Ulaanbaatar was ranked the region’s cheapest, according to a recent survey on global living costs by human resources consultancy ECA International.

However, the Japanese capital slumped to eighth place globally, down from the summit position now occupied by Luanda, the capital city of Angola.  

“Asia is home to some of the world’s most expensive locations as well its cheapest,” explained Lee Quane, regional director for Asia at ECA International. “This level of variety is only matched in Africa which is home to both the world’s most expensive location and its cheapest.”

Coming in second to Tokyo is Hong Kong, returning to the global top 10 after dropping out in the 2016 index. The Chinese SAR now ranks as the ninth priciest location for expats worldwide.

“Faster rates of price increase in Hong Kong combined with a strengthening of the dollar against the yen both contributed to Hong Kong leapfrogging many of the Japanese locations that were ranked above it last year,” said Quane.

The Mongolian capital stands alongside several Malaysian locations as Asia’s least expensive. “Ulaanbaatar is joined by Johor Baru, George Town (Penang), Yangon and Karachi in making up the cheapest locations in Asia, with all these locations falling in our global rankings over the past 12 months,” the report noted.

Index mainstay Singapore now ranks 21st most expensive, its first time out of the top 20 since 2014. 

The 2017 index charts the ascent of Taiwanese cities, with Taipei and Kaohsiung leapfrogging to the 33rd and 45th positions, respectively. 

Property Report
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