Indian cities turn dearer for expats

Indian cities turn dearer for expats

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, 25 July 2008, 11:44 Hrs
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New Delhi: India's major cities- Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai - are increasingly becoming expensive for expatriates to live in, thanks to the strengthening rupee against the U.S. dollar and growing aspirational demands.

The 'Worlwide Cost of Living 2008' survey by global consulting firm Mercer says that Moscow remains the world's most expensive city for expatriates for the third consecutive year. It is followed by Tokyo, London, Oslo and Seoul, the top five cities.

In the cost of living ranking, all cities in India were seen climbing up positions, with Mumbai moving to 48th place in the March survey this year, compared to 52nd position in the same period last year, while New Delhi rose to the 55th place from 68th a year ago. Chennai and Bangalore also improved their positions to 117 and 118 ranks, respectively. Last year, Chennai had been ranked at the 133rd position, while Bangalore was at the 134th place.

"A strengthening rupee and growing but unfulfilled demand for expatriate-style housing are factors that have contributed significantly to the changes in the ranking of Indian cities," said Gangapriya Chakraverti, Mercer's business leader for Information Product Solutions India. The survey covers 143 cities across six continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

Although the traditionally expensive cities of Western Europe and Asia still feature in the top 20, cities in Eastern Europe, Brazil and India are creeping up the list. Meanwhile some locations such as Stockholm and New York now appear less costly by comparison, the survey revealed. In the Asian region, after Tokyo at 2nd rank and Seoul at 5th, Hong Kong emerged the costliest location at 6th rank. However, Pakistani city Karachi continues to be the least costly city in this region holding the 141st place in the global ranking.

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