When talking about cost-of-living overseas for expatriate employees, it is not just exchange rates of currency, cost of food or groceries, but also housing costs. According to a recent Forbes survey result, the five most expensive real estate markets are Hong Kong, Mumbai, Beijing, Shanghai, and London. In this article, we will discuss the five most costly cities for expats living abroad.
1. Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong is considered one of the most successful financial centers around the world. It owns an advanced medical care system, promotes an active lifestyle, and provides an excellent educational system. According to the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey of 2016, Hong Kong’s property market is the world’s most unaffordable. As stated in Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey, Hong Kong is the most expensive in the Asian Pacific region. According to a local real estate site HongKongHomes.com, you should expect to pay around HK$ 55,000 per month (equivalent to ~ USD 7086.4 monthly) to rent a two-bedroom, two bathrooms apartment with a saleable area of 953 sq.ft. If you would like to own the apartment, the price increases to HK$ 24,000,000 (~ USD 3,092,245.44).
2. Mumbai, India
Surrounded by sea on three sides, Mumbai is the most populous city on the west coast of the Indian peninsula. Mumbai is listed among the most expensive cities to buy real estate in. As being one of the most international cities in India, Mumbai has pleasant weather and advanced health care facilities. Moreover, job opportunities offered, increased expatriate migration, and investment buyers that are willing to reside in the city have consequentially driven up the demand for property in Mumbai.
Beijing is also one of the most costly cities for expats. Beijing is China’s capital, as well as its political and cultural center. Known for its influential culture, Beijing is a trendy destination for expatriates moving overseas. According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, Beijing is in continuous demand for real-estate investments, resulting in increasingly high costs of living. Apart from real-estate costs, Beijing also has one of the most expensive healthcare systems, especially for non-native residents.
4. Shanghai, China
The third Chinese city that has made its way to be one of the leading most expensive cities in the world to live in is Shanghai. Located on the central coast of the country, Shanghai has become one of the leading financial hubs of the world. Furthermore, the importance and ability to conduct business in Shanghai have transformed the city to be an expatriate hot spot. With continuous growth and demand, the cost of living has skyrocketed in the last few decades. It is not uncommon to see an average, furnished one-bedroom apartment costing CAD 3,000/month.
5. London, UK
London has long been one of the most popular, and therefore most expensive cities to relocate as an expatriate. It is also famous for its rich history and remarkable agriculture. Your interests can range from art, culture, food to adventure; the city has it all. As a matter of fact, as a leading destination for expatriates, the significant increase in population has caused a substantial surge in living expenses, such as accommodation, transportation, and food & entertainment.
If deciding to relocate to one of the above cities, make sure you have proper medical coverage while abroad. Additionally, living in one of these cities will cost you a substantial amount of money, you’ll want to ensure that you don’t have to worry about any unforeseen medical expenses. At Expat Financial, we can offer a wide range of expatriate health insurance plans designed specifically for expatriates of any nationality around much of the world. For additional information, contact us at [email protected] or click here for a quote today!