Living in Manila cheaper than Bangkok - survey


Posted at Dec 13 2012 11:06 AM | Updated as of Dec 13 2012 09:39 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Tokyo remains the most expensive location in the world for expatriates, according to a global survey. 

The Cost of Living Survey by British consultancy ECA International also showed that living in Metro Manila is cheaper for expatriates than in neighboring cities Bangkok, Thailand and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Despite a fall in prices, Tokyo is still the most expensive place for international assignees. 

"Tokyo is still the most expensive location in Asia and globally - despite Japan being the only location in Asia to experience price falls this year," ECA said in a statement. 

In Asia, prices have generally increased. "On average, prices of items in ECA's Cost of Living basket for Asia have increased by 6.5% – significantly less than last year's average increase of 8.2%," it added. 

This is perhaps why more Asian cities were included in the top 50 most costly locations for expatriates around the world. 

Aside from Tokyo, other "expensive" Asian cities in the top 50 were Nagoya (2), Yokohama (5), Kobe (6), Beijing (22), Seoul (23), Shanghai (26), Singapore (31) and Hong Kong (32). 

Hong Kong became more expensive this year, jumping 26 places in the list to 32, overtaking Manhattan in New York. 

Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai have also gotten more expensive due to inflation and a stronger yuan. 

Manila ranks 187th

Manila ranked 187th in ECA's global survey, and 32nd among Asian cities. 

The survey showed Manila ranked lower in the list than Southeast Asian neighbors such as Vientiane (185), Kuala Lumpur (178), Bangkok (162) and Jakarta (123).

In the case of Jakarta, the weakening of the Rupiah against major currencies led to the city dropping 32 places to become the world's 123rd most expensive location for expatriates.

Kuala Lumpur likewise rose in the rankings, moving from 186th to 178th. 

However, Manila is more expensive than Chiang Mai (189), Hanoi (204), Mumbai (215), Ho Chi Minh City (216) and Bangalore (227). 

Karachi, Pakistan is still the least expensive Asian location in the ranking.

The ECA survey compared the year-on-year movement between September 2012 and September 2011's data on the prices of food, basic amenities, electrical goods and meals. However, the survey does not include accommodation rental, utilities charges, car purchases and school fees.


ECA International's top 10 most expensive cities in the world for international assignees:

1 Tokyo, Japan

2 Nagoya, Japan

3 Oslo, Norway

4 Luanda, Angola

5 Yokohama, Japan

6 Kobe, Japan

7 Caracas, Venezuela

8 Stavanger, Norway

9 Zurich, Switzerland 

10 Geneva, Switzerland