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Jun 21, 2017 10:31 AM IST | Source: CNBC

These are the 25 most expensive cities for expats, according to HR firm Mercer

An annual cost of living survey from human resources firm Mercer takes a look at which cities are the most expensive for the expat community and just how far your money will get you.

Ever wondered how much bang you would get for your buck if you upped sticks and moved to the other side of the world?

An annual cost of living survey from human resources firm Mercer takes a look at which cities are the most expensive for the expat community and just how far your money will get you.

1. Luanda, Angola

Luanda, Angola's port capital situated on the west coast of southern Africa, usurped Hong Kong's leading position this year to become the world's most expensive city. But it is often cited as one of the most expensive cities in the world.

Having battled through a long civil war, which destroyed much of the country's infrastructure, Angola only gained independence relatively recently, in 2002, and has since struggled to reestablish its position as a major exporter.

As a result, around half the country live in poverty while the more affluent citizens pay inflated prices for imported goods and security. Expats can expect to be set back $6,065.67 per month to rent a two bedroom unfurnished apartment of international standards.

2. Hong Kong

Hong Kong regularly emerges as the most expensive city in Asia - and indeed the world - though it was pipped to the top spot this year.

Its currency is pegged to the U.S. dollar, which continues to drive up the cost of housing and amenities. Expect to pay around $7.88 for a cup of coffee.

3. Tokyo, Japan

Japan's capital rose from fifth to third place this year as the value of the yen has continued to appreciate.

4. Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, a global center for banking and finance, is the most-costly city in Europe and fourth most pricey in the world.

5. Singapore

Prices in Singapore appear to have fallen slightly this year relative to other countries. It drops down from fourth place in 2016 to fifth in 2017.

6. Seoul, South Korea

Seoul, South Korea's capital, has raced through the ranks this year to become the sixth most expensive city for expats. In 2016, it was in just 15th place.

7. Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva is the second most expensive Swiss city and one of the world's 10 most expensive.

8. Shanghai, China

Shanghai, along with other Chinese cities, slipped in the rankings this year as the yuan weakened against the U.S. dollar.

9. New York City, U.S.

New York is the U.S.'s most expensive city and, this year, one of the 10 most expensive in the world. Expect to pay $5,058 per month to rent an unfurnished two bedroom flat.

10. Bern, Switzerland

Emerging as one of the world's 10 most expensive cities this year is Switzerland's Bern.

11. Beijing, China

China's capital Beijing slipped from 10th place this year, though you can still expect to pay $6.62 for a coffee.

12. Tianjin, China

Tianjin, a major port city in northeastern China, has grown significantly over the past year and so too have living costs. In 2016, it ranked in 30th place.

13. Shenzhen, China

Shenzen, situated next to the border of Hong Kong, has held fairly steady as one of China's priciest cities, though it dropped down one space this year to be replaced by Tianjin.

14. Moscow, Russia

Moscow, renowned for its elaborate architecture, is Russia's most expensive city. Here, a two bedroom unfurnished apartment will cost you $4,4249, though 1 kilogram of white sliced toast is among the cheapest in the ranking, at $3.38.

15. Victoria, Seychelles

Victoria, the Seychelles' capital, has remained consistently expensive over recent years, rising just two places since 2016.

16. N'Djamena, Chad

Life in N'Dhjamena, Chad, is expensive for expats, where average incomes are low and access to Western goods are limited and expensive.

17. Tel Aviv, Israel

Israel's Tel Aviv is the Middle East's most expensive country for expats, having jumped two spots since last year.

18. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Life in the politically troubled Democratic Republic of the Congo is hard. For expats wanting to move there, it is costly too, with security a considerable expense.

19. Guangzhou, China

Guangzhou, a port city in the northwest of Hong Kong is the cheapest of five major cities in China - though it remains within the world's 20 most expensive.

20. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai, renowned for its modern architecture and brilliant beaches, is a top destination for expats looking to combine business opportunities with varied attractions.

21. Osaka, Japan

Osaka is one of Japan's thriving commercial centers and continues to offer an appealing - if expensive - home for expats.

22. San Francisco, US

Life in San Francisco is expensive. With its proximity to the coast and California's wine regions, it unsurprisingly ranks among the top 10 percent of the 200+ countries studied in Mercer's annual list.

23. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi has undergone serious growth and investment over recent years and, as such, there is a price tag to match as expats look to enjoy its glamorous attractions.

24. Los Angeles, US

The third most expensive U.S. city to appear in this year's list, life in L.A. requires a pay packet of almost celebrity proportions. Rental of a two bedroom unfurnished flat could set you back $4,040.

25. Sydney, AustraliaSydney often ranks among the most expensive cities in the world, coming in at 25th out of a total of 209. Beating both Melbourne and Brisbane, you can expect to pay $100.68 for a pair of jeans.
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