Cost of Living by City: 2011 Expat Rental Prices Revealed

New research published by human resources consultants ECA International has revealed that, yet again, expats living in Tokyo face the highest rental prices in the world.

Within the annual ECA cost of living report, which covers cost of living by city rental prices across 120 cities throughout the world, Tokyo ranked as the most expensive place to rent a two-bedroom apartment, followed by Moscow and Hong Kong. London featured as the forth most expensive city in the world in which to rent, followed by Singapore in fifth place.

According to the research published by ECA, the average rental price of a property in the Japanese capital is $4,352 a month for a two-bedroom apartment; this constitutes a 2% increase on the 2010 rental prices. The human resources consultant attributed the rise in prices to the surging value of the yen, which reached a 15-year high against the dollar last November.

The rental price falls that took place in Moscow in 2009 are now a long distant memory with the Russian capital featuring as the second most expensive place to rent a property in the world. The recovery has been attributed to the return of expatriate foreign workers to the city: “The return of expatriate demand to Moscow in 2010 and continually tight supply has led to price increases of approximately 17 percent in the city to $3,500 a month,” the ECA report claims.

The biggest yearly increase was observed in Hong Kong, with expats there facing a massive 22% increase in rental prices over the past year. According to Lee Quane, regional director of ECA Asia, such cost of living hikes were caused by a combination of low interest rates, high liquidity and a shortage in supply of rental properties. However, the human resource expert disputed claims that the high rental prices would deter companies from basing themselves in the Chinese SAR: “Most companies in Hong Kong are already familiar with the expensive accommodations we have,” he said. “That hasn’t made them get up and leave.” When it came to luxury rents Hong Kong beat Tokyo to the top spot with a luxury property in a desirable expat area costing an average of $16,700 a month, 30 percent more than Tokyo.

The Pakistan city of Karachi once again featured as the cheapest place in the world in which to rent a property with a two-bedroom apartment costing 17 times less than the equivalent in Tokyo.

If you’re looking for insights into the cost of living by city then do take a look at the relocation guide for the city of your choice. Each guide contains comprehensive information about the cost of living in the chosen destination together with detailed lists of the expected living costs against different types of lifestyles and living options. Our guides are updated on a regular basis so you can be assured that the information you receive is accurate and up to date.