If you think living in Shanghai is expensive, just be glad you don’t live in Japan instead.
In its bi-annual cost of living survey last December, ECA International ranked Shanghai as the most expensive city in Asia for expatriates. One year later, Shanghai has dropped to 7th on the list.
However, it’s not so much that it suddenly got cheap to live in Shanghai. Instead, it just became much more expensive to live in Japan. Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya and Osaka all passed Shanghai on this year’s list, along with Hong Kong and Seoul.
Lee Quane, ECA International’s Regional Director of Asia, explains what happened:
We have seen a small depreciation of the renminbi against the yen and HK dollar over the past year and this has led to Shanghai and Beijing falling below Tokyo and Hong Kong in the rankings.
However, this does not truly follow the general trend seen in China over the past five years, during which locations in Mainland China have averaged an 88 place increase in the global rankings. It is likely that major Chinese cities will remain expensive destinations for mobile employees for the foreseeable future.
In fact, mainland China still dominates the list with ten cities in the top 20.
As for the world at large, Shanghai is down to 13th place from 7th last year.
This follows a wealth report released by private Swiss bank Julius Baer in October which named Shanghai as the most expensive city in Asia for living a life of luxury.
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