Dublin falls in city-cost rankings

Tue, Jul 12, 2011, 01:00

Dublin remains in the top 15 most expensive cities in the EU but has fallen down the list of the world’s most expensive places to live, a new survey says.

While the capital was 10th on the overall list just six years ago, it fell to 42nd place last year and 58th this year.

Luanda in Angola is the world’s most expensive city for the second year running, according to Mercer’s 2011 Cost of Living Survey.

The survey covers 214 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

Tokyo remains in second position and N’Djamena in Chad in third place. Moscow is in fourth position with Geneva in fifth and Osaka in sixth.

Zurich moves up one place to seventh, while Hong Kong drops down to ninth place. At number eight, Singapore is a new entry in the top 10 list of the costliest cities to live in – up from number 11.

São Paolo at number 10 has jumped 11 places since last year, Mercer said.

Karachi, in 214th place, is ranked as the world’s least expensive city.

The consultants said recent world events, including natural disasters and political upheavals, had impacted the rankings for many regions through currency fluctuations, cost inflation for goods and services, and volatility in accommodation prices.

Senior consultant at Mercer Noel O’Connor said: “We have seen Dublin drop from 42 to 58 in the worldwide rankings. Dublin ranks in the top 15 most expensive cities in the EU with a ranking of 13 (down two places from 2010) out of 40 EU cities included in survey.

“This drop is a result of exchange rate fluctuations between the dollar and the euro and because the price of goods has increased on a greater scale in the base city, New York, than Dublin.”

Mr O’Connor said that in Dublin prices for expatriate rental accommodation had remained stable in the last 12 months.

“Global mobility is an expensive undertaking for companies and the cost of housing – often the biggest expense for expats – plays an important part in determining an expatriates overall relocation package,” he said.

Down one place from last year, London (18) is the United Kingdom’s most expensive city, followed by Aberdeen (144), Glasgow (148) and Birmingham (150). Belfast (178) is ranked as the least expensive UK city.

As the survey was conducted in March, the VAT rate reduction introduced by the Government on July 1st was not a factor in the results.

Mercer claims its research to be the world’s most comprehensive cost of living survey. It is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees.

New York is used as the base city and all cities are compared against it.

Currency movements are measured against the US dollar. The cost of housing – often the biggest expense for expatriates – plays an important part in determining where cities are ranked, Mercer said.