London 18th Most Expensive City in the World

A new survey of the world’s most expensive cities shows the cost of living in the UK is going up – but Britons also have something to smile about.

Houses of Parliament LondonIf you thought living in the UK was expensive, spare a thought for the people living in the cities that have topped the 2011 Mercer cost of living survey.

The most expensive city in the world is Luanda in Angola, followed by Tokyo, Japan and N’Djamena, Chad. Moscow, in 4th place, is the most expensive city in Europe while London, at 18th, is the priciest in the UK.

With New York City in the US as its baseline, the Mercer survey looks at 214 major metropolitan areas across five continents and measures the comparative costs of 200 items affecting the cost of living. These include food, clothing, housing, transport, household goods and entertainment.

Aberdeen, the second most expensive city to live in after London, rose from 149th place to 144th. Glasgow placed 148th overall and Birmingham upped its ranking from 158th to 150th, rounding out the top 4 in the UK.

By comparison, the UK’s cheapest city to live in is Belfast in Northern Ireland, which ranked 178th on Mercer’s list. Worldwide, the cheapest city to live in was found to be Karachi in Pakistan.

While the UK isn’t in the same league as Japan or Switzerland, which each have three cities in the top 20, the comparative cost of living in UK cities is rising thanks to sharp rises in rents and the growing cost of goods and services due to higher inflation.

Moneyhighstreet comments: “With many UK cities moving up the ranks of Mercer’s list, it’s clear that the rising costs of living are measurable and are being felt.

“With rising rents cited as a factor, it’s important to consider when buying a property becomes cheaper than renting it. With more 95% mortgages aimed at first-time buyers, it is becoming easier for renters to switch.”

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