mercer cost of living 2011 survey expats expatriate allowance- asia pacific

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Mercer's 2011 Cost of Living survey highlights - Asia Pacific



Global overview

Regional focus

  • Asia Pacific
Top 5 cities - Asia Pacific
  • Tokyo, Japan (2nd)
  • Osaka, Japan (6th)
  • Singapore, Singapore (8th)
  • Hong Kong, Hong Kong (9th)
  • Nagoya, Japan (11th)


On 11 March 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit north-eastern Japan, promptly triggering a tsunami and causing major devastation across many regions of Japan. There have been reports of shortages of certain staple goods such as bottled water, bread, toilet tissue, etc., after the earthquake due to stockpiling, but this has not affected prices. The shortages have been temporary as the government called on the public to refrain from stockpiling and also urged producers to distribute more goods in the market.


The residential rental market in Tokyo was adversely affected by the earthquake: Rental prices have been declining due to the reduced demand. Many owners had to reduce their rates as Tokyo was partly damaged and many expatriates and local people decided to move to surrounding cities. Some companies, including foreign businesses, decided to cancel plans to move to the city.


In early January, massive floods hit the Australian state of Queensland, but the disaster has not had a direct impact on price levels in Brisbane, the state capital. In Sydney, strong demand for rental properties and a low vacancy rate have kept rents rising. Sydney has experienced strong population growth and an undersupply of properties.


Annual inflation in China hit 5.4% in March 2011, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The costs of a broad array of goods and services increased in Mercer’s March 2011 Cost of Living survey. The higher prices of food consumed both at home and at restaurants are the main contributors to the inflation in all Chinese cities. The rise in the transportation category is mainly due to increased fuel prices.


Residential rental prices in Shanghai and Beijing have been increasing over the past six months as the housing markets have seen high demand. The trend is forecast to continue this year as demand rises. The influx of expatriates into Guangzhou means that rental rates are expected to continue increasing, after rising in recent months.


The residential rental market in Hong Kong is very strong and prices have been increasing despite rising supply and good choice of accommodation available for rent. 


2011 Cost of living reports now available
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Cost of living 2011

Cost of Living reports 2011Compare cities and set the allowance for your mobile workforce.

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