Sydney has officially been named as one of the world’s most expensive cities

Sydney makes the top 10 world’s most expensive cities – behind crime-ridden New York, glitzy Singapore and a surprising 3rd place

  • Sydney was ranked by the Economist Intelligence Unit as the tenth priciest city
  • The EIU releases a global ranking of cities by their cost of living twice every year
  • New York City and Singapore tied in first for the world’s most expensive cities 
  • Tel Aviv, Hong Kong and Los Angeles rounded out the ranking top five positions

Sydney has been ranked the world’s tenth most expensive city to live in, with researchers considering the price of rent, groceries and everyday services.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) found Sydneysiders are paying some of the highest prices in the world alongside infamously expensive cities like New York and Hong Kong.

Sydney tied for the tenth with Copenhagen, Denmark, on the biannual global ranking, which is compiled by comparing prices in US dollars for goods, services and rent in 172 cities.

Data from the Housing NSW shows the average weekly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Sydney is $450 to $550, while a two-bedroom typically starts at $650.

Sydney (above) tied with Denmark's Copenhagen for the tenth most expensive city in the world

Sydney (above) tied with Denmark’s Copenhagen for the tenth most expensive city in the world

The Economist Intelligence Unit's biannual ranking considered the cost of rent, groceries, utilities, transport and more when placing Sydney has the world's tenth most expensive city (pictured, Sydney townhouses in Paddington)

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s biannual ranking considered the cost of rent, groceries, utilities, transport and more when placing Sydney has the world’s tenth most expensive city (pictured, Sydney townhouses in Paddington)

Top ten most expensive cities to live in 

Singapore — 1

New York, US — 1

Tel Aviv, Israel — 3

Hong Kong, China — 4

Los Angeles, US — 4

Zurich, Switzerland — 6

Geneva, Switzerland — 7

San Francisco, US — 8

Paris, France — 9

Copenhagen, Denmark — 10

Sydney, Australia — 10

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Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, was not included in this year’s ranking due to the ongoing Russian invasion. 

New York City and Singapore tied for the world’s most expensive cities to live in despite the former being inundated with criminal activity and the later run by an ultra-strict regime.

Tel Aviv, which had topped the list last year due to its currency’s rising value against the US dollar, fell to third – while Hong Kong and Los Angeles rounded out the top five.

This year also saw San Francisco reach the top 10 for the first time – the only other American city to do so.

On the other end of the rank, the Syrian capital of Damascus and Libya’s Tripoli were declare the world’s cheapest places, as both were recently ravaged by long-running wars that have diminished the strength of their respective economies. 

The rankings shakeup comes as a cost of living surge has plagued the world’s major cities – one that study authors warned should be considered a ‘crisis,’ fueled by recent rampant inflation, rising interest rates, and ongoing supply chain woes.

The London-based EIU has watched rising global costs over the last 30 years. 

New York (above) tied with Singapore for the title of the most expensive city in the world, an in-depth biannual survey has revealed

New York (above) tied with Singapore for the title of the most expensive city in the world, an in-depth biannual survey has revealed

The average weekly rent for a two bedroom apartment in Sydney (above) starts at a minimum of $650

The average weekly rent for a two bedroom apartment in Sydney (above) starts at a minimum of $650

Researchers twice a year are each given a list of of more than 200 products and services to research in each city, including food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal appliances.

The group considers products from both high and low budget stores. 

They also analyse the costs of rent, transport, utilities and recreational activities.

By the end of each collection period, of which there are two, more than 50,000 prices are collected – for a cumulative data set of more than 100,000.

The data is then converted into one central currency – in this case, the US dollar –  using expected exchange rates.

EIU carried out its surveys in August and September this year as inflation, currently sitting at 6.9 per cent in Australia, continues to reach record-breaking heights.

Hong Kong (above) took the fourth spot in  survey, which looked at the cost of living in each of the world's major 172 cities

Hong Kong (above) took the fourth spot in  survey, which looked at the cost of living in each of the world’s major 172 cities

Head of worldwide cost of living at EIU, Upasana Dutt, called the rapid rise in costs ‘a crisis’ made worse by ongoing supply chain issues fuelled by the war in Ukraine and China’s Covid lockdowns. 

‘The war in Ukraine, Western sanctions on Russia and China’s zero-Covid policies have caused supply-chain problems that, combined with rising interest rates and exchange-rate shifts, have resulted in a cost-of-living crisis across the world,’ Dutt wrote in the just-released report.

Australia’s interest rate currently sits at 2.85 per cent but ANZ is expecting the Reserve Bank of Australia to keep increasing it until it reaches an 11-year high of 3.85 per cent by May, 2023.

She said the effects of rising costs could be seen in this year’s surveys ‘with the average price rise across the 172 cities in our survey being the strongest we’ve seen in the 20 years for which we have digital data’.

Authors added that unless the war in Ukraine escalates, they predict prices for energy, food and construction supplies are likely to fall some in 2023 but warned costs ‘are likely to stay higher than previous levels.’

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