London Overtakes Hong Kong as World’s Most Expensive City

Big Ben (Sang Tan/AP)
Big Ben (Sang Tan/AP)
Big Ben (Sang Tan/AP)

 

(The Guardian) – London has overtaken Hong Kong as the world’s most expensive city to live and work in, with a new study suggesting it is almost twice as pricey as Sydney, and four times more than Rio de Janeiro.

The estate agent Savills said that in London, rising rents and the strong pound had pushed up the typical cost per individual employee of renting somewhere to live and leasing office space to $120,000 (£73,800) a year.

That puts the UK capital well ahead of other global hubs such as New York and Paris which, aside from Hong Kong, are the only other locations where the combined annual costs of renting residential and office space top $100,000 per employee.

London’s rise to first place in the rankings was blamed in part on its soaring property prices, which have jumped by 18.4% in the past year, according to Savills. Office rents have also risen significantly. In its most recent quarterly report on the commercial property sector, the rival estate agent Knight Frank said that over the previous 12 months, prime office rents had risen by 9% in the City and by 8% in the West End area. Someone with €100m to spend would be able to buy just 2,700 square metres of prime office space in the West End, but would get 17,000 square metres or more for their money in Berlin or Amsterdam.

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