Hong Kong Now More Expensive Than Tokyo

Hong Kong has become the 4th most expensive location for expatriates in Asia Pacific and is now above Tokyo in the list according to the latest Cost of Living survey by ECA International, a leading provider of knowledge, information and technology for the management and assignment of employees around the world.

A year ago goods and services in ECA’s shopping basket were more than 11 per cent cheaper in Hong Kong than in the Japanese capital, today they are 4 per cent more expensive. Globally, Hong Kong has entered the top 15, leaping up from last year’s 29th position to 12th place.

Prices of items in ECA’s basket rose more than 3 per cent in Hong Kong over the year. However, it is exchange rate movements that have had the biggest impact on cost of living for expatriates in Hong Kong.

“With the US dollar, to which the HK dollar is pegged, having strengthened against a number of currencies over the past year, the SAR has become more expensive for many businesses sending assignees there,” said Lee Quane, Regional Director – Asia, ECA International. “While a strong currency is attractive for those relocating staff out of Hong Kong, it is a less appealing proposition for those sending employees into the region who may consider alternative, cheaper locations.”

However, Hong Kong’s rise in the ranking is also due to other locations in the list falling. Cost of living for expatriates has fallen in a number of cities that were more expensive than Hong Kong a year ago. These include not only locations in Japan but also Scandinavia, Denmark and Africa.

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