Looking for a place to live in a metropolis can be a very difficult and expensive task. Most of us have to tackle this task in order to be closer to better job markets and better opportunities.
The western world is well known for luxurious and expensive rents, but surprisingly the most expensive city is located in China, Asia.
Beijing holds the record for the world’s most expensive city, where the rent costs eats up roughly 123% of the average salary.
Even though Beijing’s nominal monthly rent is $789 on average, the ordinary worker cannot afford to live in typical housing alone, according to the study from non-profit organization, Global Cities Business Alliance, since rent costs exceed their salary.
The silver and bronze medals for most expensive cities are also located in the East, Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi, where the rent is 70% and 64% of earnings respectively. The study also analysed rent and income data from 15 major cities.
Lesley Saville, CEO of the Global Cities Business Alliance points out that “Big cities like Beijing are victims of their own success: Rapid growth has magnetized workers, but they now need to deliver enough houses so that workers enjoy living there’ adding that ‘Beijing is trying to address the problem with measures such as building new underground lines to unlock housing and by directly funding development, which will help.”
Some citizens have taken less conventional ways to deal with surging living costs in Beijing. Some have started living in small windowless basements of apartment buildings, or in one case, the sewers, as reported by Reuters.
According to Reuters, the average Beijing worker commutes 104 minutes, round trip, for their job, making this Asian city the second longest commute time in the world behind Mexico City, where employees travel 113 minutes.
There are other problematic implications to the high cost of rent in Beijing. While customers are spending the majority of their paychecks on rent, they also have less money to spend on other goods and services, which is not good for a country trying to stimulate growth and transition to a consumer-based economy.
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Photo credit: Lawyer 2B