London the world’s most expensive city



London has overtaken Hong Kong to become the most expensive city in which to live and work, according to a new report.

The capital was also rated above New York and Paris in a ranking complied by the estate agents Savills, which calculated which cities are most costly for companies to locate staff in. 

The combined cost of renting home and office space in London has now reached $121,000 (£73,800) per employee per year, the report found.

The 12 Cities report compares 12 global hubs, to help companies assess the costs of relocating staff. It does not take in to account other expenses, such as food, drink and travel costs.

It is the first time in five years that Hong Kong has been knocked off the top spot, with prices rising in London thanks to increasing rents and the pound’s strength against the dollar.

In 2008, London sat in fifth, but it is now one of only four cities where the costs of renting residential and office space top $100,000 (£61,000) per employee per year.

“I don’t think it’s desirable necessarily to be the most expensive city to occupy, but on the other hand, you probably wouldn’t be the most expensive city if you weren’t also the most desirable,” Yolande Barnes, director of world research at Savills, told the Financial Times.

“You can look at it two ways. From an investor’s point of view, it means their returns have grown nicely. But, as an occupier, looking to rent in the city, clearly it makes London less attractive compared with other cities employers might look at,” she said.

Prince Charles recently called for more to be done to ensure housing in London remains affordable, as he warned the current pace of rising property prices in the capital is “unsustainable”. 

His comments coincided with a report from the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, which warned the capital city faces “acute housing shortages of both quality and quantity”.

 Photo: damo1977 via flickr

Further reading:

Evan Davis’s Mind the Gap series highlights division between London and the rest

Widening gap between London and the rest of the UK

Wealth inequality costs ‘deeply divided’ UK £39bn a year

207 global cities say climate change is a threat to local economy

Rising house prices fuelling inequality, says Legal & General


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