Rising Living Costs Place Kyiv High On List Of Expensive Cities

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine’s capital ranks as one of the 50 most expensive places to live in the world, coming in 21st on a list of 144 cities surveyed by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, a global leader for human resources and related financial advice.

According to an annual survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, Kyiv ranks as the 21st most expensive city to live in out of a list of 144 major world cities surveyed.

In Mercer’s annual Worldwide Cost of Living survey, Kyiv has moved up from 54th to 21st place compared with last year’s survey, sharing its position with Rome and Vienna.

With a score of 89.8, Kyiv is just around 10 points away from New York, which represented the survey’s base city at 100 points. The Ukrainian capital was separated by just a little over 30 points from Moscow, which this year replaced Tokyo as the world’s most expensive city, with a score of 123.9, according to Mercer’s ranking.

Kyiv’s dramatic rise to the top of the international list is mainly due to the appreciation of the local currency, the hryvnia, against the U.S. dollar, and “general price increases,” Mercer’s press release said.

Many other Eastern European cities, on the contrary, have dropped sharply in the ranking due to the devaluation of local currencies against the dollar, the release stated. For example, Prague has fallen 22 places to 50th place in the ranking.

Mercer’s survey measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each city, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment, and is aimed at helping multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees.

Kyiv real estate prices has skyrocketed in recent years, as has the cost of living in general due to rising fuel costs and other changes that followed in the wake of the Orange Revolution. Another change under the administration of President Viktor Yushchenko is lighter visa restrictions for foreigner visiting Ukraine.

“We have seen significant shifts in the cost of living rankings over the past few years, reflecting a changing global market.

For many companies, it can now be more expensive to send employees to work in Russia or Korea than places like Japan or Switzerland, which are often perceived to be more costly,” said Rebecca Powers, a senior consultant with Mercer’s international business.

According to Powers, more companies are now sending employees on expatriate assignments, so there is a greater need to keep pace with the cost of living changes.

Some 44 percent of multinational companies have reported an increase in the number of international assignments to and from locations other than their headquarters over the past two years, according to Mercer’s 2005/2006 International Assignments Survey.

Much of the increase in the number of international assignments, the survey says, is due to the widespread use of short-term placements, which have become more prevalent over the past few years.

Moscow has climbed up to the leading position in the Cost of Living ranking from the fourth place it held last year, while Seoul and Tokyo hold second and third places respectively.

“Steep accommodation costs have contributed to Moscow’s high ranking, as the recent property boom has driven up rental prices for expatriates,” explained Anna Krotova, Mercer’s Geneva-based senior researcher.

London has dropped two places from last year and ranks fifth, according to the survey.

Krotova stressed, however, that “cities move in the ranking due to prices and currencies’ variations vs. New York […] therefore the position in the ranking is a relative indicator [of the cost or living].”

Kyiv, for example, moved up by 33 positions from last year, but its index only went from 84.5 to 89.8, according to Krotova.

Source: Kyiv Post


Nickolay said…
it has been no questions about it but since the dollar went from 5 to 8 it became more or less affordable.
es some prices are still crazy but there companies that did lowered the price to meet the cleints need. i know we did - www.kievapartment.com
Beauty said…
My friend just arrived in Kyiv today from England and he was very surprised about the cost for a meal. He and his friend end up paying a rediculous nearly 80,00 pounds which means $126.
It is too soon to know more about the place for sure. But doesn't make anybody to make a effort to visit this place. Shame really!