British cities surge up rankings of most expensive world locations

Published:  10 Jul at 6 PM
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The strengthening of sterling and the soaring cost of property have sent leading UK cities soaring up the latest ‘expensive cities’ survey.

London, Belfast, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Birmingham have leapt up the latest world city cost of living survey, with London now the 12th most expensive world city for expats. The capital was 25th in last year’s survey, and the house price explosion is considered to be the main reason for its re-rating.

The study, commissioned by Mercers’, researched 211 cities worldwide as an aid to governments and multi-national companies as regards setting salary packages for expat employees. Birmingham rose in the rankings from 135 to 90, and is now the UK’s secondmost expensive place to live.

Aberdeen, which attracts a high number of expat workers due to its oil industry, took 94th place this year from 128th in 2013, with Glasgow rising from 157th to 108 in 2014. Out of all the UK cities which took part in the survey, Belfast came out as the least expensive at number 120, but cost of living rises were evident as its position in 2013 was 158.

Expenses taken into account include housing, transport, food costs, household goods, clothing and entertainment, including meals out. Crucial currency movements are set against the US dollar, with the strength of the pound an important factor in cost of living increases for incoming employees.

Typical monthly rental charges for a two-bedroomed London apartment now stand at around £3,000 in appropriate districts, whilst similar accommodation in Birmingham costs around £850 per month. London house prices over the last year have soared by 26 per cent, and average UK-wide real estate values are at an all-time peak.
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Comments » There is 1 comment

Clare Laming wrote 4 years ago:

Interesting to see Belfast rise up in the cost of living. Pity that salaries are not rising for the local people. Every time I go back home to Belfast, I notice an increase in prices. A lot of restaurants and bars are struggling with the 20% VAT and increases in rents. I find that prices of drinks and some restaurants are just as expensive as those in Dublin. I hope something is done as it the VAT is crippling leisure industries that are imperative to Northern Ireland's rise in as a tourist destination.

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