Shifting global economy good news for expat living

Published:  22 Jun at 6 PM
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The oil price crash combined with increasing global nationalism over the past year has caused the global economy to shift, thus decreasing the cost of living in London and other expensive expat destinations.

As a result of the global changes, the latest survey of the world’s most expensive cities has produced some surprising results indicating dramatic cuts to the cost of living in London and other major world cities. In the majority of cases, the values of local currencies have tanked against foreign currency rates, with expats employed by international businesses seeing the benefits of a reduced cost of living. London’s dramatic downward shift in global rankings has made the city far more affordable, and living costs in Lagos and Beijing have also slumped.

A Canadian CEO running his business from London and living in one of the city’s southern boroughs is pleased with the 18 per cent fall in the capital’s ‘most expensive cities’ listings. However, he also notes the increase in prices of various luxury goods and foreign foodstuffs. Living affordably in London isn’t as difficult as it once was, with rentals and real estate prices in districts such as Leyton and East Ham to the east of the city centre now representing serious value for money. South London’s East Croydon area is another good choice for bargain-hunters.

The Chinese capital of Beijing saw a 16 per cent fall in the survey’s current rankings, mostly due to the decreased value of the yuan against the almighty dollar and falling demand for Chinese exports. Living comfortably is linked with the distance outside the city centre of affordable accommodation, and searching in the ‘cool’ districts closer to the central hub often yields results.

As a general rule, the western and eastern suburbs give the best bargains as regards rentals. For those working in the city centre, a nearby subway station is the way to go, as it’s far cheaper and faster than taking a taxi. For expats on a budget, eating where the locals eat is a no-brainer with delicious results.

Due entirely to the drop in oil prices, Lagos is now 16 points lower in the survey, although prices have risen considerably due to currency inflation. Most expats choose to live in the Island district or in the northern mainland areas of Ikeja and Llupjo, as they’re quieter and safer than the city’s central districts. A future destination for expats might well be the still under construction city of Lekki Phase, set on the Island district a few kilometres from most of the existing developments.
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