Tel Aviv ranked eighth most expensive city in the world for foreigners

ECA International annual list moves Israeli city down from sixth place in 2022; New York takes top spot due to high rental costs and inflation

A general view shows Tel Aviv-Jaffa as the sun rises, June 5, 2023. (Omer Fichman/Flash90)
A general view shows Tel Aviv-Jaffa as the sun rises, June 5, 2023. (Omer Fichman/Flash90)

Tel Aviv is the eighth most expensive city in the world according to an annual ranking released Wednesday by a group that aids the relocation of workers.

ECA International’s report is based on the local cost of living and rental prices.

Tel Aviv’s position improved slightly from 2022, when it ranked sixth. In 2021 it was seventh.

The city was separately ranked as the most expensive in the world in 2021 and third most expensive in 2022 in the Worldwide Cost of Living Index.

New York took the top spot in the ECA International ranking, up from second in 2022, pushing Hong Kong down into second place.

The report noted that rankings for all US cities rose in 2023 “driven by the strength of the US dollar and high inflation.”

New York was pushed to the top of the list due to “significant rises in rental costs as demand soared post [COVID-19] pandemic.”

The ranking listed 207 cities in 120 countries around the world based on cost of living, rental prices in areas with high numbers of foreigners, and service costs.

The sun rises over a hazy New York City skyline as seen from Jersey City, New Jersey, June 7, 2023. (Seth Wenig/AP)

Most Asian cities dropped in the rankings due to relatively low inflation in their countries, though Singapore rose eight places to fifth most expensive “as supply did not keep pace with rises in demand.”

Dubai rental prices ballooned by almost a third over the past year caused by an influx of Russians escaping army draft to fight the war in Ukraine, putting the city 12th in the ranking. Accommodation costs in locations to which many Ukrainian refugees fled also caused surges, the report said, with Polish cities suffering the worst and seeing rent prices rise by between 25% and 50%.

The biggest change in ranking was for Istanbul, which rocketed by 95 places to 108. ETA International attributed the change to an increase of over 80% in prices caused by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s economic policies.

In Europe, 54% of cities examined moved up the rankings due to high rates of inflation, the report said. Geneva and London were the third and fourth most expensive locations, respectively.

Last December, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living report put Tel Aviv in third place as the most expensive city to live in after it had ranked first the year before.

For Israelis, the cost of living is rising, as inflation accelerated above 5% and housing prices soared almost 20% percent in 2022. At the same time, salaries are not aligning, with the average Israeli worker taking home less pay than in 64% of OECD countries in 2021.

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