Pound plunge makes UK cities cheapest for expats in a decade
Cities in the UK are now the cheapest they have been for expatriates to live in for at least a decade thanks to the pound's plunge since the Brexit vote, a survey has shown.
The latest global Cost of Living rankings by ECA International reveal that British cities have fallen dramatically by up to 68 places and out of the top 100 globally.
It marks their lowest ever recorded ranking in the 10 years the survey has been running, as the Brexit-battered pound makes everyday items more affordable for overseas people coming to live in the UK.
Central London is also at an all-time low in the rankings, at 132, down from 65 last year.
The UK’s capital now sits just above Addis Ababa in the global rankings and has been overtaken by Rio de Janeiro, ranked 88th, Bangkok in 116th place and Dublin at number 120.
The bi-annual report by ECA weighs up the cost of living in over 460 locations across the world, comparing the cost of a basket of like-for-like consumer goods and services commonly purchased by international assignees.
The survey is designed to help businesses and governments to ensure their employees’ spending power is maintained when they are sent on international assignments.
Steven Kilfedder, ECA’s production manager, said: “Thanks to the weakened pound UK businesses are paying more to send staff to work overseas, but it is cheaper to bring staff to the UK.
“UK locations have seen the most dramatic decline in Europe this year and the fifth largest decline in the world - behind cities in Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Egypt and Ghana in Africa,” he added.
Edinburgh has fallen to 165th position, Cardiff is now ranked at 175 and Belfast has dropped to 186 in the ranking.
The pound has plummeted since Britain voted to quit the European Union as confidence in the country’s economic prowess has evaporated.
Expatriates who live and work in the UK tend to get a lift when sterling suffers because they benefit from a more favourable currency translation.
On the flipside, the weak pound has pushed up the cost of living for Britons, making it more expensive for them to afford everyday items.
Hong Kong, Zurich, Geneva and Basel completed the “top five” most expensive cities list.
The relative decline of the euro between surveys has seen most eurozone locations fall in the global rankings, with French, Dutch and German destinations among those dropping most in the past year.
Berlin has seen the most significant decline in mainland Europe, falling by 28 places to 122nd.
However, all UK cities have dropped below Paris, Berlin and Brussels in the rankings, Mr Kilfedder said.