Former costly cities like London and Seoul are now cheaper

Is there a good side to the world’s economic woes? Not if you are a stock trader or banker. But if you are an expat, living in one of the world’s major cities, there is an upside to the sad state of the global market. Example: London and Seoul, formerly two of the world’s costliest places for expats to reside, have become quite reasonably priced.

A year ago, Seoul was on par with Tokyo in terms of expense. If you needed imported goods (“gotta have my Corn Flakes”), Seoul was actually a more expensive place to live. A mere year later, expats in Korea have seen a 40% drop in prices. This is according to ECA International, a UK-based consulting firm that specializes in helping companies with the planning and logistics of sending employees to overseas offices.

London, once in ECA’s top ten most expensive cities list, has dropped to #72 because of Britain’s poor economic performance.

Who’s on top of the most expensive list? Japanese cities still dominate. Surprisingly, some African cities are expensive for expats because of the high price of imported goods. In fact, Luanda, Angola is the world’s most expensive place for expats, according to ECA.

[more about the ECA survey]