Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Taipei makes it into top 20 of world's most expensive cities for expats

Taiwan's capital city no longer cheap visitor destination or place to live for foreigners

  8681
Taipei's Xinyi District is one of the capital city's most expensive areas. (Taiwan News, Jules Quartly photo)

Taipei's Xinyi District is one of the capital city's most expensive areas. (Taiwan News, Jules Quartly photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei has edged itself onto the list of the world’s top 20 most expensive cities for expats, says the data and services company ECA International.

It was only in 2020 that Taipei became the 49th most expensive location in the world for expats to rent property. As such, the latest figures confirm that Taipei is rapidly becoming a comparatively more expensive place to live in.

Taiwan was just outside the top 20 (21) of most expensive cities for expats in 2021. This year once again, Hong Kong was listed head of the pile, with the rest as follows:

  1. Hong Kong (2021 1st)
  2. New York, U.S. (4)
  3. Geneva, Switzerland (3)
  4. London, U.K. (5)
  5. Tokyo, Japan (2)
  6. Tel Aviv, Israel (7)
  7. Zurich, Switzerland (6)
  8. Shanghai, China (9)
  9. Guangzhou, China (10)
  10. Seoul, South Korea (8)
  11. San Francisco, U.S. (15)
  12. Shenzhen, China (12)
  13. Singapore (13)
  14. Beijing, China (16)
  15. Jerusalem, Israel (18)
  16. Bern, Switzerland (17)
  17. Yokohama, Japan (11)
  18. Copenhagen, Denmark (14)
  19. Oslo, Norway (19)
  20. Taipei, Taiwan (21)

Taipei makes it into top 20 of world's most expensive cities for expats
Taipei Nan Shan Plaza and Taipei 101. (Taiwan News, Jules Quartly photo)

Bloomberg cited ECA International Regional Director for Asia, Lee Quane, as saying: “It has been the strength of the Hong Kong dollar, which is pegged to the US dollar, in the past year which has enabled it to maintain its position as the most expensive location worldwide as other currencies have weakened.”

ECA International looks at the cost of consumer goods and services, plus rental costs, in more than 490 locations worldwide. The new report ranks 207 cities in 120 countries.

According to the website Expat Arrivals, Taipei is the most expensive of Taiwan’s metropolitan areas and attracts the most expats. Rental costs for housing of NT$15-30,000 per month are considered reasonable, though buying a house is not.

The website commends Taipei for the cost and “breadth of options” when it comes to eating out. As for goods and services, these were characterized as generally “cheap” but often “poorly made,” while “imported luxury brands are costly due to high import duties.”