FIRST WITH THE NEWS: A second survey in as many weeks has found the cost of living for expatriates in Bangkok is rising – considerably.
The annual Mercer Cost of Living survey, which unlike others, does include rental property costs, has seen Bangkok rise 15 places in just 12 months.
Most surprising is that Bangkok’s 52nd place ranking in this Cost of living survey puts it ahead of global cities including Helsinki, Washington, Munich, Madrid and Melbourne.
Mercer’s survey revealed Hong Kong has overtaken Luanda as the world’s most expensive city for expatriates.
Tokyo and Zurich are in second and third positions with Singapore in fourth, up one place from last year.
Four out of five of the world’s most expensive cities for expatriates are now in Asia.
Other cities that appeared in the top 10 of Mercer’s costliest cities for expatriates are Seoul (5), Luanda (6), Shanghai (7), N’Djamena (8), Beijing (9), and Bern (10).
The world’s least expensive cities for expatriates are Tashkent (209), Tunis (208), and Bishkek (207).
According to this 24th annual Cost of Living survey, factors like instability in housing markets, low inflation and fluctuating prices for goods and services are impacting the cost of doing business in various cities around the world.
The survey helps multinational companies and governments determine compensation for expatriate employees.
New York City is used as the base city for comparisons, and currency movements are measured against the US dollar.
The strength of the Thai baht versus the US dollar is one reason why Bangkok is viewed as a costly expatriate destination.
The survey ranked 209 cities and measured the comparative cost of more than 200 items, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.
Elsewhere in Asia, Bangkok (ranked 52) jumped 15 places from last year. Kuala Lumpur (145) also rose in the ranking, up 20 places, while Hanoi (137) plummeted 37 places.
Rankings of Southeast Asia cities
4 – Singapore
52 – Bangkok
91 – Yangon
117 – Jakarta
124 – Ho Chi Minh City
142 Phnom Penh
145 Kuala Lumpur