Amsterdam drops in cost of living survey

28th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

28 June 2006, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch capital has dropped from 24th to 41st place in the later Mercer Worldwide Cost of Living Survey.

28 June 2006

AMSTERDAM  — The Dutch capital has dropped from 24th to 41st place in the later Mercer Worldwide Cost of Living Survey.

Amsterdam is now on a par with the Zambian capital Lusaka and is cheaper than Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. But before you go and open the champagne bottle, the bad news is that Amsterdam's fluctuation in rank was due to currency exchange rates and rising costs in other cities.

"The euro has weakened against a number of currencies, for example the Canadian and US dollars, reducing the cost of living for expatriates in many European countries," Mercer spokeswoman Anna Krotova said.

It means that expats moving from USD-based countries will benefit from the improved exchange rate when they move to Amsterdam.

Mercer’s survey covers 144 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.

Moscow, according to Mercer's analysis of costs in March 2006, replaced Tokyo as the most expensive city in the world. "Steep accommodation costs have contributed to the city's high ranking, as the recent property boom has driven up rental prices for expatriates," Krotova said.

The Japanese capital is now ranked 3rd overall behind Seoul.

The Russian capital is also the most expensive city in Europe. London is in 2nd place in this category and ranks 5th worldwide, down two places. Other costly European cities include Geneva (7th), Copenhagen (8th) and Zurich (9th).

Most Eastern European cities have dropped sharply, while US cities have risen due to the strength of the dollar.

Still, Mercer's comparison of prices in selected cities shows that expats in Amsterdam have to dig deep in their wallets for certain luxury and day-to-day items.

Mercer said that renting a luxury two bedroom unfurnished apartment costs on average GBP 1,700 (EUR 2,462) in London, but only GBP 651.59 in Brussels. Such an an apartment costs about GBP 925.95 in Amsterdam and Rome. Paris, Tokyo, Beijing, Sydney and New York are more expensive.

But such accommodation is cheaper in several other major European cities including Dublin, Berlin, Athens, Madrid, Prague, Warsaw and Zagreb.

A bus or subway ride costs an average of GBP 2 in London and GBP 1.44 in Berlin. Amsterdam is in 3rd place in GBP 1.10.

A music CD costs about GBP 11.99 in London but GBP 15.8 in the Dutch capital. Johannesburg tops this at GBP 17.01.

When it comes to a fast food hamburger meal, the rankings are Athens (GBP 4.97), London (GBP 4.50) and Amsterdam (4.46).

New York is the most expensive city in North America and climbs three places to 10th position. Toronto is the most expensive city in Canada and moves up from 82nd to 47th place.

Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are the most expensive cities in Latin America moving up from 119th and 124th positions to 34th and 40th place respectively

While Seoul and Tokyo ranked second and third respectively, Hong Kong was the third Asian city to make the top five and is ranked as the world's 4th most expensive city.

Asuncion in Paraguay remains the least expensive city in the survey.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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