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Seoul world’s ninth-most expensive city for expats: survey

By Choi Jae-hee

Published : June 8, 2023 - 13:55

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A night view of South Korean capital Seoul (123rf) A night view of South Korean capital Seoul (123rf)

South Korea's capital city, Seoul, was named the world’s ninth most expensive city for expatriates in terms of living expenses, an international survey showed.

According to a global consulting firm ECA International in March this year, the cost of living in Seoul was the ninth-highest, up one notch from a year earlier. Tokyo was next, down five notches on-year.

The survey compared the costs of living in 207 cities with high numbers of foreign national residents across 120 countries worldwide. It analyzed the prices of goods and services, including food, clothing, transportation and housing, to determine the global rankings of expensive cities.

Seoul's rising housing costs due to changes in property tax regulations were the major driver of the latest ascent, while the continued weakening of the yen has driven the fall in the cost of living in Tokyo, the survey explained.

New York topped the list, pushing Hong Kong, which held the top spot for four years, into the second place, largely due to soaring inflation and rising housing costs. Geneva and London remained in third and fourth place, respectively.

Singapore jumped from 13th to fifth place amid soaring property prices, followed by Zurich (sixth), San Francisco (seventh) and Tel Aviv (eighth).