Expensive living your thing? Then Paris is the place for you. At least if you pay attention to a new global study.
The French capital has retained the dubious honour of being the most expensive city in the EU, according to the latest Worldwide Cost of Living Survey from The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
Singapore topped the rankings ahead of Hong Kong and Zurich – Europe's most expensive city. Another Swiss city Geneva was ranked sixth, just ahead of Paris in seventh. (See the table below from left to right)
Paris, the only eurozone city in the top ten, “remains structurally extremely expensive to live in,” the report said.
Paris has also proved to be particularly expensive, compared to other cities when it comes to the cost of entertainment and clothes.
The same can be said for the cost of a basket of goods in a supermarket, although the authors of the studies believe this may have something to do with the quality of product demanded by the French.
There was good news for smokers and drinkers however.
“Only alcohol and tobacco offering value for money compared with other European cities,” says the report.
Indeed, a standard bottle of table wine in Paris averages $10.35 – cheaper than every city that ranked higher than Paris.
The same bottle of wine sells for $23.68 in Singapore and a whopping $26.54 in Seoul (see table below).
Paris has actually dropped two positions in the ranking since 2016.
But the survey may be a little misleading because, as the authors have explained, it doesn't mean Paris is necessarily expensive for those who live here.
Jon Copestake, the editor of previous studies has told The Local that while Paris was pricey there was an upside.
“Paris has always been expensive. It’s partly driven by high real estate prices that feed through to retail prices,” he said. “It's just structurally expensive and the high wages also makes a difference.”
“Parisians shouldn’t see it as bad news. It's partly due to the high salaries there. It just means other places abroad are cheaper when they go and visit. They will have a much higher purchasing power. It’s the same in places like Oslo where prices are also driven up by the very high salaries,” Copestake added.
The survey, released on Tuesday, aims to help companies calculate packages for expats and business travellers by comparing more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services including food and drink, clothing, rents, transport, utility bills and recreation costs.
The top ten was rounded out by Geneva in equal seventh, then New York and Copenhagen at joint ninth.
While Paris has featured among the ten most expensive cities for 15 years, The EIU said that the relative cost of living in the French capital has moderated.
“Currently, living in Paris is 7 percent more expensive than living in New York, but just five years ago it was 50 percent pricier,” the paper reported.
London, the UK capital, fell by 18 places from 6th last year to 24th – its lowest position in the cost of living ranking in 20 years.
Do you find Paris too expensive to live?