The Buzz | London passes HK as priciest city to employ staff

London surpassed Hong Kong as the world’s most expensive city for companies to locate employees after rents climbed and the pound appreciated against the dollar. London real estate costs, which combine residential and office rents, climbed 5.3 pct in dollar terms in the first half, according to a Savills report. Companies pay an average of USD121,000 a year to employ someone in the city, the report said. Rents are climbing and the strengthening pound has been a major contributor to London’s rise in the rankings, Savills said.
“The vitality of central London locations are at risk as they become too expensive for the types of occupiers that made them attractive in the first place,” Yolande Barnes, a director at Savills, said in the report. By contrast, falling rents and a weakening currency pushed HK to second place after five years at the top of the ranking. It’s followed by New York and Paris. HK real estate costs declined 5.6 pct in the period, cutting the cost of an employee to USD116,000 a year. New York real estate costs declined 1.7 pct. Companies pay an average of USD107,782 per year to have an employee living and working in the city.

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