Top 10 Most Expensive Cities in the World to Live

When we say something is “expensive”, we don’t often really point to the luxury that it brings, but the reason behind its expensiveness, to be precise. Similarly, today while discussing the top 10 expensive cities of the world to live in, I would rather enumerate the reasons behind their expensiveness. This would pour into you a clear idea about how good or bad the balance of supply and demand chain is being maintained in the world’s most luxurious cities.  So, let’s begin!


1. Hong Kong

As people earn more, they are compelled to pay more to get a living in the expensive city of Hong Kong. Here, prices of living and commodities rise daily, however, most of their consumed goods are imported from elsewhere.

It begins with the price of housing or rental apartments, which is charged on the basis of ¼th to ⅓rd of your income (exclusive of taxes). Next is the food- be it the homemade one- the cost is yet so high with improved quality, as most goods-imported from China- are averagely priced, those from the USA are comparatively expensive, whereas, from Japan, the cost of goods is much higher. Plus, you get charged with a crazy bill if you risk going for a family dinner or lunch outside (it’s a must-do thing to maintain the local standard of life).

Hong Kong

2. Vancouver (Canada)

More population compared to housing complexes is raising the housing cost in Vancouver.  This is caused by the indirect influence of foreign buyers, decreased supply, taxation programs, and improper zoning of housing property. Only a few yet-to-be-developed multi-family housing apartment properties are currently existing in Vancouver, where affordable housing could be constructed.

Vancouver Canada

3. Sydney (Australia)

The main cause of being an expensive city to live in is its imbalanced supply and demand. Or, to be precise, it’s the population that contributed to the increase in demand for living in Sydney. The population of Australia is fairly low in comparison to the capacity of the country. Consequently, the city is quite expensive. How? Well, suppose a cost of $20 has to be shared by people, if there are 5 people to contribute then the per head cost becomes $4. However, if there are only 2 heads to contribute, the per capita cost becomes $10.

Sydney Australia

4. Toronto (Canada)

Apart from a number of reasons, the most obvious reason behind Toronto being an expensive place to live in is the imbalance between supply and demand. Toronto is a city of snarled-up population and the landlords are well-aware of the rental housing demand there. So, they make use of this situation and offer rents at some crazy prices. The wider the city, the most is the demand it has to fulfill. If your demand is to get a rent near to the local amenities of the city, be ready to get charged higher. The closer you are to downtown, the higher is the rental price.

Toronto Canada

5. Los Angeles (California)

The price of lifestyle and commodities increase with increasing demand. The demand for living in L.A. has increased the value of the city in all respects; be it rent, food, and other basic utilities. So, in case you are planning for a shift to LA, do your homework on the basic amount of expense you have to afford to pay to live there.

Los Angeles California

6. Victoria (Canada)

Victoria is currently amongst the top 5 expensive cities in the world to live in. According to PadMapper’s report, Victoria is ranking second to Montreal, Quebec, and is a draw with Barrie, Ontario with a mean rent value starting at $1,400 for 1 BHK apartments and $1,720 for 2 BHK apartments.

In Victoria, per monthly expense of living in a well-furnished flat of 85 square meters is around $1,627 along with $123 for added conveniences for 2 people. The public conveyance is not less than $84 per month. Plus, the basic cost of lunch in such a bustling business city is $18 minimum. In all, the expense of surviving in Victoria is quite challenging.

Victoria Canada

7. London (UK)

London is more known for its expensiveness than for it being a city of major business corporations. Being the global financial capital, the markets of the city of London capture both Eastern and Western time-zones. As a result, the chances of gaining direct access to the greater portion of capital (economy) is faster in London compared to other countries. 

Besides, London is home to headquarters of some of the global multinationals, including Thomas Cook, HSBC, etc., thereby grabbing the attention of the solvent business people of the world. Moreover, the city is fit for startup businesses or entrepreneurship which has, in turn, increased the price of the rental shops in London. With budding businesses and companies, the demand for office rooms and buildings is also increasing, which yet again adds to the expense of the people living there.


8. San Francisco (California)

San Francisco is a beautiful bay city of only 140 km, has always been an expensive spot for living because of an exploding population of about 850,000 people living there. As a result, people pay more to grab even a one BHK flat, that too, not so easy as the richer often get first served with the others still waiting in the queue. In simple words, the demand is more, but the output is less, thereby raising the living expense of San Francisco. 

San Francisco

9. San Jose (California)

San Jose is yet again another bay city and is way too expensive for its growth of technical sectors that includes global corporations like Google and others. Next is the housing demand of the people, who find themselves lucky enough to grab even a one BHK apartment at the monthly expense of $3000 (which is more than enough to get a well-furnished 2bhk flat). Food, dwelling, and other basic requirements are essential for anybody to survive. But, in San Jose, food, gasoline, and other basic utilities are way expensive. Then there come the reduced jobs due to the sudden shutdown of small businesses, and unbearable traffic jams due to increased population, overall add to the expensiveness of the city. Feel lucky if you get a studio apartment costing around $1800 for a solo living in San Jose. Housing would be the biggest expense to deal with in the near future.

San jose

10. Auckland (New Zealand) 

The first reason why Auckland is an expensive city to live in is lesser supply and greater demand. The delay of the construction industry often creates a blip in the housing demand for the newer immigrants. As a result, people are compelled to snap the cheaper apartments at a price higher than the property’s real rental value. Next is the role of the real estate agents in dragging the price slab of a property to (3 to 4)% of the sales price, causing another price hike.

Auckland New Zealand

In Closing

These are only a few from the long list of other cities, many are yet to be discussed. Well, I will keep that for another day. Hope that I was able to enlighten your knowledge regarding the expensive places in the world with some real facts today. 

Lana Martinez is a freelance technical writer living in the Santa Clara. She's a gadget and tech geek who loves to write how-to articles about a wide range of topics. When she's not writing about technology, Lana loves watching and reading mysteries, cross stitching, and attending musical theatre. She's also an avid Doctor Who fan.