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London retains top slot on the Live/Work Index

Savills 12 cities index

New Savills research shows that London is the most expensive city in the world for businesses to relocate their employees. Hong Kong and New York are not far behind. In all three cities, the provision of office and living space now costs more than $110,000 per employee, per year.

However, it's not all bad news for the UK capital. The Savills Live/Work Index (see table below) has been dominated by London, Hong Kong and New York since it was launched in 2008. And while this is the second time that London has reached the top slot, having toppled Hong Kong in 2014, the capital's live/work costs at $118,085 per year, are still some way off the record $128,000 per year set by Hong Kong in 2011.

The recent Live/Work Index also indicates that London costs have dropped 7.3 per cent in dollar terms since 2014. Meanwhile, Hong Kong and New York have closed the price gap with London, showing a drop of 2.3 per cent and a rise of 1.1 per cent respectively.

Further down the rankings, a strong economic recovery and rising commercial and residential rents are combining with the strong dollar to make north Amercan cities increasingly expensive. San Francisco, in fifth position, has shown the biggest increase, with growth in rent and other real estate costs up 4.8 per cent since 2014, and 55.1 per cent since 2008. San Francisco's ranking confirms its status as a world-class city, despite its relatively small population.

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