Belfast becomes cheaper as cost of living drops

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Belfast has seen its cost of living drop in the last year, but the city is still more expensive than it was two years ago.

The capital dropped six places to 158th in the Mercer cost of Living rankings, placing it below Kingston in Jamaica and about the same as Maputo in Mozambique.

Belfast has seen living costs drop in the last year according to new rankings (Photo: Shutterstock)

Belfast has seen living costs drop in the last year according to new rankings (Photo: Shutterstock)

In 2017, however, the city was ranked 170th in the list, with the cost of living rising on average over the last three years.

More expensive than Cairo, cheaper than Glasgow

Belfast is in the lowest quarter of cities in the rankings but is the cheapest of the four UK locations which figure.

Glasgow is 13 places above the capital, Aberdeen more than 20 above and London more than 130 places above.

Compared to some of Europe’s biggest cities such as Istanbul in Turkey and Leipzig in Germany, Belfast is fractionally cheaper.

It is, however, more expensive than Budapest in Hungary, Cairo in Egypt, and oil-rich Baku in Azerbaijan.

Hong Kong most expensive

Hong Kong has retained its place at the top of the table as the most expensive place to live in the world for a second year, beating fellow Asian cities Tokyo and Singapore into second and third place respectively.

The top European city is the Swiss banking hub of Zurich which sits fourth, with New York in ninth place and at the top of the American cities.

N’Djamena in Chad is the most expensive place to move to in Africa, while those with deep pockets in search of an island lifestyle could live on Victoria in the Seychelles, the 14th most expensive city.

London was ranked 23rd, down four places compared to 2018 and ranked below Dubai and Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo) which were ranked 21st and 22nd respectively.

The cheapest three cities in the rankings are Karachi in Pakistan, Tashkent in Uzbekistan, with Tunis in Tunisia the cheapest of all.

Rankings take into account price changes

The annual rankings from Mercer look at the cost of living and housing for employees of firms sent to work abroad.

The company produces the rankings in more than 200 of the most common cities for expatriate employees and show how changes in the value of currency and the cost of goods and services can impact how expensive a place is to live.