London Rises in Rankings of Most Expensive Cities


March 2019

London Rises in Rankings of Most Expensive Cities

London has climbed eight places up to 22nd in the list of the most expensive cities in the world, according to the Worldwide Cost of Living 2019 survey.

The rankings, compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, measure the cost of living in 133 cities around the world. According to their latest list, Paris, Singapore and Hong Kong were all jointly named as the planet’s most expensive cities to live in.

Although inflation in the UK has been subdued in recent months, the capital is still a more expensive place to live than it was last year. In 2018, London dropped significantly in the rankings, thanks in part to economic problems surrounding the impact of Brexit. This year however, the city has bounced back. The only other British city on the list, Manchester, has also risen by five places, up to 51st in the world alongside Adelaide, Boston and Lyon.

The rankings, which are produced every year, are based on the prices of 160 items in total, from rent, food and clothes, to transport costs and gas and electricity bills. Living costs are also affected by the strength of local currencies, and the weakening of the pound since the Brexit referendum has been attributed to London’s fall in rankings from its traditionally high position.

London shares its 22nd spot with both Melbourne and Milan. Out of the European cities on the list, which have historically been more expensive than cities in other parts of the world, London came in 12th place, while Manchester was 23rd.

A statement from the EIU said: “The previous sharp fall in the ranking for UK cities, which are now significantly cheaper internationally, has been reversed partially in the latest ranking. The slight appreciation in the pound sterling has been enough to cause increases in domestic prices and push London and Manchester up the ranking by eight and five spots respectively. Nevertheless, London is still 14% cheaper than New York overall.”

The editor of the report, Roxana Slavcheva, believes that London and Manchester could see rising costs of living this year, to be reflected with a higher ranking in 2020. She said that the UK “has already seen sharp declines in the relative cost of living owing to the Brexit referendum and related currency weaknesses. In 2019 these are expected to translate into further price rises as supply chains become more complicated and import costs rise. These inflationary effects could be compounded if sterling were to stage a recovery.”

As well as Paris, Singapore and Hong Kong, the other places to make up the top 10 most expensive cities are Zurich, Geneva, Osaka, Seoul, Copenhagen, New York, Tel Aviv and Los Angeles.

At the other end of the list, Caracas was revealed as the cheapest city in the world. The Venezuelan capital has been hit by political turmoil and hyperinflation of almost 1,000,000%. Damascus in Syria was the second cheapest city on the list, with no European city coming in the bottom 10.