Wednesday, 24 September 2014

London now most expensive city to work and live

London has overtaken Hong Kong as the most expensive city in the world for workers to live and for companies to place staff, a new study has found.

Soaring rents combined with the strong pound has driven up the average cost per employee of renting somewhere to live and leasing office space by 39 per cent to $120,000 or £73,000 a year, according to Savills estate agents' 'Live/Work index' - making it almost twice as pricey as Sydney, and four times more than Rio de Janeiro.

Property prices in the UK capital have soared 18.4 per cent in the past year alone, encouraged by a general upturn in the economy, and that helped take London from fifth place in 2008 in the study's table to top.

It places London well ahead of other cities on the list, such as New York and Paris (third and four respectively), which along with Hong Kong are the only hubs where residential and office space
rental costs top US$100,000, or £61,000 a year.

This is still well below the record set by Hong Kong in 2011 of $128,000 a year - around £79,000 - Savills said, adding that residential property prices in Hong Kong remained 40 per cent higher than in London, although the gap was beginning to narrow.

However, the report warned that soaring property prices could have a detrimental effect on London's future economic growth. 

It said: 'The availability of low-cost office space in and around Silicon roundabout, coupled with affordable residential accommodation, helped put the capital on the technology map.

'But gentrification has priced out new start-ups, and the vitality of central London locations are at risk as they become too expensive for the types of occupiers that made them attractive in the first place.'

Meanwhile, Savills said Hong Kong's drop to second spot in the rankings, after five years at the top, was down to a modest fall in residential rents combined with a weakening currency.
At the other end of the scale, Rio de Janeiro and Mumbai are the cheapest cities on the list to locate employees. 

Source; Dailymail

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