Bangkok drops 19 places to 49th most expensive place in the world

Bangkok’s decline reflects the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the rental market in Thailand’s tourism-dependent economy, according to the latest ECA survey.

Hanoi saw a similar drop of 12 places to 81st place, based on an analysis of data collected in September 2020.

The survey uses average rental prices for a three-bedroom apartment in the mid-range expat market.

ECA International has been researching the cost of hosting international executives for over 20 years to help companies deliver the right housing options as part of the total compensation package for mobile workers. The study compares the cost of renting accommodation in areas typically inhabited by expatriate staff at more than 360 locations around the world.

Hong Kong was named the most expensive place in the world for expatriate accommodation for a fourth year in a row, but still saw rental costs drop significantly due to the effects of Covid-19.

  • Hong Kong maintains its position as the most expensive accommodation for foreign workers, despite a drop of more than 5% in rental costs compared to last year.
  • The impact of Covid-19 on business travel and overseas missions lowers monthly rents by an average of $ 549 to $ 10,769 (HKD 83,466).
  • Taipei climbs twenty places in the last rankings, while tourist poles such as Bangkok and Hanoi fall.
  • New York and Tokyo remain in second and third place respectively.

“Rental prices have fallen in many places in Asia over the past year, but this has been particularly noticeable in places that rely heavily on visitors and foreign residents, such as Thailand and Vietnam.”

Lee Quane, Regional Director for Asia at ECA International.

Location Average rent 2021 Average rent 2020
Hong Kong 10 769 11 318
Tokyo, Japan 9 317 9,207
Shanghai, China 5,222 5 363
Yokohama, Japan 5 168 5,090
Seoul, Republic of Korea 5,107 4 931
Beijing, China 4,599 4,566
Osaka, Japan 4 278 4,254
Singapore 4 210 4 233
Taipei, Taiwan 4,101 3,656
Mumbai, India 3 980 4,403
Source : ECA International

Strengths of Asia

Taiwan’s cities have all moved up the rankings this year, as rental markets have seen an increase – especially Taipei which has climbed 20 spots to 29th in the world.

Quane said, “Taiwan has been one of the few places in the APAC region to experience a significant increase in accommodation costs this year, with the average monthly rental cost in Taipei now standing at $ 4,101, a increase of more than 5% compared to last year. This growth has been a ripple effect of the nation’s success in mitigating transmission of the Covid-19 virus, as well as repatriations of personnel previously assigned to China and demand for talent in key industries in Taiwan, all of which resulted in increased demand meaning that rents were able to stay consistent and even increase in many high end areas. “

Meanwhile, Singapore fell one place in the ranking to 26th globally, with rents falling by more than 2% on average. The average monthly rent in Singapore is now $ 4,210 (SGD 5,747).

“Rents in Singapore are still remarkably stable and this year is no different, with only a slight drop in the ranking. However, this is a reversal of the increase in rental costs seen in 2019 and is likely the result of greater immigration restrictions for workers and other travelers to the city, thus suppressing demand for all types of accommodation, ”Quane explained.

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