Tokyo tops list of expensive expat cities



A new survey by ECA International has revealed that Tokyo Japan is the most expensive city for foreign expatriates for the second year running, with Oslo and Geneva coming closely behind.

Interestingly, the survey also revealed that Singapore is now more expensive for expats than Hong Kong, a sign that there is a perhaps a shift in popularity amongst expats between the two cities.

The placing of Oslo in second place confirms the city’s standing s the most expensive in Europe, a position it’s held for three successive years.

The high costs of life in these expensive countries was attributed with inflation, however in a way this can also swing things in the favour of the employee, as sought-after international workers can command higher salaries, a fact that is evidenced by expected wage increases in Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong.

ECA regional director Lee Quane said: "Clearly there is a lot of uncertainty about the near-future. Even developing nations that have retained high growth are growing uneasy at the prospect of a renewed slowdown in the global marketplace. Nevertheless, on average companies throughout the region are forecasting slightly higher increases in 2012 than this year, as is the case in Singapore. While inflation globally is generally expected to be lower in 2012 than this year, it may still be quite high, especially in Asia, and the longer inflation remains elevated, the higher people’s expectations become for future inflation, a mind-set which pushes up pay demands."

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