These cities have become the most expensive places to live in since the Covid-19 pandemic
Posted on 27/11/2020

CultureHong Kong

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The Covid-19 pandemic hasn't brought any good news for most people around the world, but it is even worse for people living in specific cities, as it has become even more expensive to live in some European cities with the pandemic, while on the opposite the cost of living has dropped in some cities in the Americas, Africa, and Eastern Europe. In fact, according to a study by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Hong Kong, Paris and Zurich are now the three most expensive cities to live in globally.

The cost of living rises in Europe

The cost of living rises in Europe
© Keng Po Leung / 123RF

This is only from a recent comparison, and the title previously belonged to Hong Kong, Singapore and Osaka, the last two having now been replaced by Zurich and Paris.

It is then followed by Singapore in fourth, Tel Aviv and Osaka tied in fifth, Geneva and New York City tied in seventh, and Copenhagen and Los Angeles tied in ninth.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the U.S. dollar to weaken while Western European and North Asian currencies have strengthened against it, which in turn has shifted prices for goods and services. The pandemic has transformed consumer behavior, as lockdowns and trends such as working from home have increased the prices of consumer electronics and meal-at-home kits have taken the place of restaurant dining for middle-class families", commented Upasana Dutt, the head of Worldwide Cost of Living at the Economic Intelligence Unit.

According to the report, this is due to the rise in European currencies in comparison to the American dollar, as well as supply issues such as shortages of toilet paper and pasta due to the pandemic, which created a price increase.

Probably the highest price increase was in the field of recreation, and particularly electronics, due to the fact that a lot of people work from home. On the opposite, the price of clothing has quite massively declined.

"With the global economy unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2022, spending will remain restricted and prices under downward pressure", added Upasana Dutt. According to him, most people will likely keep spending on "staples, home entertainment, and faster internet access. Although much will depend on the course of the pandemic, we expect many of the above price trends to continue into 2021", he says.