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Thread: Tokyo remains the world's most expensive city

  1. #1
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Tokyo remains the world's most expensive city

    Tokyo is still the world's priciest city, followed by London, Moscow, Osaka and Hong Kong.

    Quote Originally Posted by BBC News
    It said it would set you back £1,950 a month in London to rent a luxury two-bedroom unfurnished apartment, compared with £840 in Dublin, £1,311 in Paris and £908 in Rome.
    Then and unhelpful and strange analysis from CNN :

    The weak American dollar and strong European and Asian currencies helped make Tokyo and London the most expensive cities in the world, according to a survey released Monday.
    Why ? Tokyo, HK and Osaka have been at the top for years, even when the US$ was much stronger. London has always been more expensive than any American city.

    The rest of the top 20 remained fairly constant, although Paris; Vienna, Austria and Istanbul, Turkey made their first appearances so high in the rankings.
    Sorry, couldn't help complaining about these CNN reporters in Atlanta, USA, Earth who find the need to specify that Vienna is in Austria and Istanbul in Turkey. I guess that if people have enough education to read the news, then they should know that.

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  2. #2
    Occasional visitor nekosasori's Avatar
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    Actually Maciamo, I think CNN reporters do need to specify country for many cities because the CNN audience is so US-centric. I know in local (rural?) Canadian news, they'd always specify London as in the UK capital because otherwise people will assume it's the London in Ontario. I know there's a Dublin in Ohio, and I've been asked more than once if that's where I am (rather than the Irish capital).

    Anyway, the relative strength of the Euro to the US dollar DID affect rankings quite a bit for many of the other cities - Dublin jumped from 21st position to 14th, there are no American cities now in the top ten (NYC being 12th now rather than 10th)... while I don't ever read CNN because I don't trust them as a news source (though they're slightly better than Fox News?), I did see the original Mercer press release.

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    Sufi Nomad of the Steppe zafer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I guess that if people have enough education to read the news, then they should know that.
    I wish that were the case...You'd be surprised at how many of those people that actually read the news and wear fancy suits are total idiots.

    Anyways, it is interesting that Istanbul is one of the most expensive cities now, it was great when last time I saw it.

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    Konnichiwa, y'all! Censport's Avatar
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    Perhaps, if Japan's birth rate keeps declining and suicide remains disturbingly fashionable, housing will get cheaper....?

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    The Hairy Wookie Mycernius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Sorry, couldn't help complaining about these CNN reporters in Atlanta, USA, Earth who find the need to specify that Vienna is in Austria and Istanbul in Turkey. I guess that if people have enough education to read the news, then they should know that.
    You get the same in films: London-England, Paris-France, but for American cities it's: Miami-Florida, Houston-Texas.
    As for city prices, Englands getting ridiculous for house prices. The average house price is about £130 000. How on earth are first time buyers suppost to buy a house? I've heard that in Japan they take 50 year morgages, leaving the debt to their off spring. Cheers dad, thanks for the house... and the repayments.
    Best bit I've ever read about Japanese prices was during the 1980s the Imperial grounds of the palace in Tokyo were worth as much as California, and metropolitian Tokyo had the same worth as the USA.
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    Regular Member Mcspi's Avatar
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    I was told by a friend that Tokyo was a very expensive city to live in. and a 50 yr. morgage wow that is a long time.

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    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycernius
    As for city prices, Englands getting ridiculous for house prices. The average house price is about £130 000. How on earth are first time buyers suppost to buy a house? I've heard that in Japan they take 50 year morgages, leaving the debt to their off spring. Cheers dad, thanks for the house... and the repayments.
    I have made a little comparison of real estate prices in Tokyo and London (+SE) and prices in London are much higher than in Tokyo nowadays. I guess this is due to the fact that land prices have been falling for a consecutive 15 years in Japan (about 80% down in total), and rising incontrollably in London (like 20%/year) in the last 5 years. Prices in the suburbs of London (underground zone 3 or 4) are now about twice higher as the most central residential areas of Tokyo you can get. There is no need to mention prices in areas like Mayfair, Knightsbridge of Westminster (not even Ginza is half so expensive).

    But the funny (or not so funny actually) thing is that everything seems more expensive in London. Food is 2 to 3x more expensive, the cheapest tube ticket in London is £1.60 (=320yen), exactly 2x that of the Tokyo Metro (160yen). Only brand clothes and cars are cheaper because the Japanese tend to import them from Europe.


    One of the reason why Japanese like to take 50-year mortgage is twofold :
    1) If a huge earthquake hits Tokyo (and you die, or the country and banks goes bankrupt), you don't have to repay your loan, so it's as well use one's money before it happens (as it will)
    2) It is usually only the husband who works and buys the house. Considering that many couples don't buy a house before the age of 30-35, there is a high chance that the man dies before the 50 years, and they always take a life insurance with the mortgage in this eventuality. So they can save part of the loan. Very cynical and practical, but that's how a typical Japanese mind works (regarding money at least).
    There used to be a third reason. The house prices increase quickly during the bubble years (1980's) as did the economy, the prices (inflation) and the salaries. So, if the trend continued (but it didn't), they would have to repay much less than borrowed because of their higher salaries in the future.

  8. #8
    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
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    That is interesting...I don't know anyone with a 50yr mortgage anymore...most of my friends are using 30yr mortgages! Definitely something that I hadn't heard of before.

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    Tokyo Remains the Most expensive city...

    From Japan today:

    Wednesday, March 23, 2005 at 07:15 JST
    LONDON — Tokyo remains the most expensive city in the world in terms of cost of living, a report released Tuesday by the Economist Intelligence Unit revealed.

    After Tokyo came Osaka, Oslo, Paris, Copenhagen and Zurich, with the top six remaining unchanged. In contrast, no cities in the United States feature in the top 20, with New York dropping from 13th in the previous survey to 23rd. At the bottom of the list was Tehran, with Manila and Mumbai above it. The survey compared the cost of a basket of goods and services in dollar terms from 124 cities worldwide to provide guidance for the calculation of executive allowances. (Kyodo News)
    I know tokyo and Osaka (sharing with Kobe) are in the top most expensive city's in the world, but what make this cities's so expensive???... i never been to japan myself yet... so can anybody give me some examples?

  10. #10
    Come into me Nightwalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dutch baka
    I know tokyo and Osaka (sharing with Kobe) are in the top most expensive city's in the world, but what make this cities's so expensive???... i never been to japan myself yet... so can anybody give me some examples?
    Dito. I would like to know too please.
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    ‘Š•Ï‚í‚炸•s‘©ŽÒ‚Å‚· epigene's Avatar
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    The basic reasons for the high prices in Japan are high cost of LAND and LABOR.

    Land is expensive, because the size of flatland where people can farm and build cities is very small. If you look at a physical map of Japan, you'll see that most of the center of Honshu Island consists of mountains. This leads to very high concentration of people on the coastal areas and little land available, thus high land cost-> expensive homes and apartments and high price of factory construction, office space leasing and apartment rentals. This is all passed on to the prices of things.

    Labor cost in Japan is high because of the lifetime employment and seniority-based wage system that had been in place for a very long time. Especially because Japan achieved great economic success, companies continued to raise pay for their employees every year. There was nothing to stop a worker's salary from increasing every year. The miracle years are over, but the companies aren't able to slash wages immediately to match business profits. They also want to avoid layoffs as much as possible. There are many efforts under way to push down wage levels (by not hiring new workers any more until absolutely necessary, moving out of Japan and setting up factories in places like China, hiring temporary workers rather than full-time workers, hiring illegal aliens, etc.). But the labor cost cannot be reduced so easily. It will take a generation for the people who earned high wages to die off. (Sorry for the description )

    These are all passed on to the prices of consumer goods, property, and everything else. The good service and hospitality you get in Japan come a price tag.

  12. #12
    –Ú˜^ Index's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo

    But the funny (or not so funny actually) thing is that everything seems more expensive in London. Food is 2 to 3x more expensive, the cheapest tube ticket in London is £1.60 (=320yen), exactly 2x that of the Tokyo Metro (160yen). Only brand clothes and cars are cheaper because the Japanese tend to import them from Europe.

    Is the "expensiveness" of a certain city not related to the value of currency and how much one can buy for a certain amount, also taken as function of how long it takes to earn that amount? Whether something cost 160 or 320 depending on the country seems to me to be relevant only for the tourist who is relating this cost to his own currency. Whether something is cheap or not in an absolute sense only has meaning when you consider the situation for someone living in that country and making an income there.

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    Anjin Brooker's Avatar
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    Japan really isn't that expensive IF you make a Japanese salary.
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    –Ú˜^ Index's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brooker
    Japan really isn't that expensive IF you make a Japanese salary.
    I agree, although I would say that the notable exception was rent. Relative to my salary, for the amount I spent on a place in Tokyo I could get something much bigger in Poland or Australia.

  15. #15
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Index
    I agree, although I would say that the notable exception was rent. Relative to my salary, for the amount I spent on a place in Tokyo I could get something much bigger in Poland or Australia.
    Of course because Australia is so sparsely populated and land is cheap, and becauses prices are lower in Poland. However, Japanese rents are very similar to those of France, Italy, the Benelux, and about half cheaper than South-East England. Real estate prices in central Paris and central Tokyo are comparable, although Paris is much smaller (11 million vs 35 million with suburbs).

  16. #16
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by epigene
    The basic reasons for the high prices in Japan are high cost of LAND and LABOR.
    This is a typical stereotype dating from the long-gone and short-lived Bubble years that many Japanese still believe in. Maybe it is because they compare land prices with the US and labour cost with Korea or China.

    However, looking at hard facts, land and accommodation prices in most of England (especially the South-East) are much higher than in Japan (about twice higher). Please check online real estate agencies for the UK and Japan and compare the prices.

    Looking at the data from the Economist, we see that the average labour costs in Japan in 2003 was 20.49 USD per hour, while it was 21.53 in France, 21.83 in the US, 26.78 in the Netherlands, 28.00 in Belgium and 30.86 in Germany.
    It was cheaper in Australia (19.45), the UK (19.24), Canada (18.47) and Italy (14.94) though.

    The real reason that so many things are expensive in Japan (food in supermarkets, transportations, etc.) is overstaffing and big companies agreeing with each others to keep the prices high.

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    Just a minor nitpicky note -

    In the U.S. we always refer to a city as: City, Country or (if inside the US) as City, State. It's preferred in writing and other media. There is pretty much only one exception to that and that is when a television/radio presenter refers to New York. Since the City and State are the same they refer to it as "New York City", hence differentiating it from the State by the same name and avoiding an uncomfortable spoken redundancy. This is actually fairly modern since in decades prior it was always refered to as "New York, New York" on the evening news.

    Although I know its quite fashionable to refer to Americans as xenophobic egocentrists, this is really just a case of common parlance and style. If you browse American news websites you will almost always see the following style laid out in an article:

    HEADLINE
    Date
    City, State (By-Line): or City (Province), Country (By-Line):
    Article

    If you live in the States, the next time you are in the bookstore you can browse the writing section and flip through various style guides. Generally visual/audio media follows (loosely) print guidelines as well.

    (Sorry, writing is one of my hobbies )

  18. #18
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Officially, Tokyo is not the most expensive city anymore.

    CNN Survey: Oslo most expensive city

    I still wonder how they made their counts, as London is definitely (much) more expensive. Maybe they take supermarket prices into account rather than restaurants, and house rents rather than purchasing prices. Or they concentrate on big department store with lots of imported goods for clothing prices...

  19. #19
    Um...okay
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    Well, as long as Trondheim doesn't jump up there, I'm happy.
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    The Great Mitsuo's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's the only set back that I can think of when visiting Japan.

    Hawaii, I think, is the most expensive state in the US.

    I need more Money!!!!!!
    I wish I knew that I didn't know what I know. You know?

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  21. #21
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitsuo Oda
    Yeah, that's the only set back that I can think of when visiting Japan.
    Hawaii, I think, is the most expensive state in the US.
    I need more Money!!!!!!
    Don't know about states, but according to such surveys, the top 5 most expensive cities in the US in 2005 are :

    - Manhattan
    - San Francisco
    - Los Angeles
    - San Jose
    - Washington, D.C.

  22. #22
    tsuyaku o tsukete kudasai nurizeko's Avatar
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    When bread only comes in expensive bags of 6 to 8 slices of bread at a time, i dont doubt tokyo is bloody expensive, i could get two substantial loafs of bread for the same price in the UK...

    Infact it seems the only thing you buy in bulk in japan is bags of rice and medications. (courtesy of your local friendly doctors prescription of course).

  23. #23
    Regular Member ippolito's Avatar
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    I am not on the same opinion

    Well I have been 1 week in november 2006 and I spent
    in a Shinjuku hotel superior 80 euros a day less than in Rome
    bear our main train station,
    for meals normally I have spent for a complete japanese meals
    from 5000 to max 7000 yen....for electronics in akihabara
    some of the guys of my group mad a good purchase and save a lot of money for cameras mp3 and notebook....
    what is more expensive for us are transports... but my daily
    expenses for meals and bevarage was less than 15.000 yen per day
    In Rome, where I live a medium price for a meal (acceptable) is
    15-20 euros (per meal) eve a simple pizza and coke seated at a table costs around 10 euros so around 15.000 yen.
    Perhaps the high cost of the life there are houses (to buy) I guarantee
    you that in Rome or Milan for a small appartment to rent downtown
    is not less than 100.000 yen but it is difficolt to find....




    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Tokyo is still the world's priciest city, followed by London, Moscow, Osaka and Hong Kong.
    Then and unhelpful and strange analysis from CNN :
    Why ? Tokyo, HK and Osaka have been at the top for years, even when the US$ was much stronger. London has always been more expensive than any American city.
    Sorry, couldn't help complaining about these CNN reporters in Atlanta, USA, Earth who find the need to specify that Vienna is in Austria and Istanbul in Turkey. I guess that if people have enough education to read the news, then they should know that.

  24. #24
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    Rankings always chance especially depending on which criteria they are being surveyed on. I think its London or Moscow now at the top.

  25. #25
    Regular Member ippolito's Avatar
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    espensive

    Yes if you pay more an appatment in NY or Tokyo we should consider also the level of all services like transportations, air pollution,
    security etc...

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