It’s official: Sydney is more expensive to live in than Melbourne, claim the results of an annual survey into cost of living around the world.
The report, conducted bi-annually by The Economist Intelligence Unit, has found that Sydney is the third most expensive city to live in around the world. Melbourne is the fifth.
According to the report, entitled ‘The Worldwide Cost of Living 2013′, Sydney is beaten to the top spot by both Tokyo, at number one, and Osaka at number two. Tokyo has repeatedly topped the list in the last 20 years, being named the most expensive city to live in in every year but six.
Australian cities have only recently been added to the top ten ranking, ten years ago no Australian city made the top 50 most expensive cities. This swift rise is due to economic growth and local currency swings.
Survey results come from comparing the cost of 160 products and services, including food, drink, clothing, transport and rent.
Mumbai in India and Karachi in Pakistan are the two cheapest cities to live in according to the index, with the average US$ price of 1kg of bread being $0.86 in Mumbai, in comparison to Tokyo’s $9.06.
Businesses are also feeling the cost of living affecting things like rental costs, but according to Patricia Forsythe, executive director of the Sydney Business Chamber, these costs are mostly being felt by people looking in. “[If you are] a business looking to establish a regional presence or headquarters for example, if the choice is Sydney or some of the other cities in the Asia pacific region, we are looking expensive from people looking inward at us. So compared to some of our key competitors: Singapore, Hong Kong, cities in China, we are expensive, but we offset that by an execellent standard of living, a quality of life, and a highly skilled educated and multilingual workforce.
“By and large, if you’re a business established in the market, this high cost, is not a significant factor. Because the reality is that the price that you’re charging for your goods is generally keeping pace with it.”