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London rent prices decline whilst Zurich remains world's most expensive city, UBS report finds

31/05/2018 News Team

The 17th edition of UBS Global Wealth Management’s annual prices & earnings report has revealed that average London rents and the cost of an average London shopping basket have declined.

In 2015, London had the highest average rent of all the European capitals on the list. At US$2,850.67, a flat in London was more expensive than in Paris ($2,444.63), and significantly pricier than in Madrid ($1,049.31) or Berlin ($894.01). Today, the average London rent has declined to $2,547.79.

The report which compares 128 prices of various goods and services as well as average earnings of 15 professions representing the average working population also looked at the cost for goods typically associated with millennials with London proving second priciest for purchasing avocados, at an average cost of $7.33. Also to afford an iPhone X in London the average time needed to work is 11.3 days compared with 6.7 days in New York.

The report also found that overall purchasing power is higher. In 2015, if purchasing power in New York was 100, it was 80.40 in London, almost the same as in Paris (80.20), lower than in Berlin (97.60) and higher than in Madrid (71.4). This year, purchasing power in other European capitals has fallen, while in London it has climbed three points to 83.38.

The cost for an average shopping basket in London has also declined since 2015 and is no longer the most expensive on the list. It dropped from $567.9 in 2015 to $521.21 today, while in other European capitals the cost rose across the board. 

In terms of wages, a secretary in London in 2015 was likely earning around $28,605.92 a year – a few hundred more than secretaries in Berlin and several thousand more than those in Paris and Madrid. Since then, salaries have climbed everywhere but the gap between London and other European capitals has closed. 

London topped the table in 2015, but salaries have since risen significantly in Madrid, Paris and Berlin. Today they outpace London, where average salaries have declined and are now the lowest of the four European cities. Salaries in other capitals have risen over the years, while it is mixed in London. 

Furthermore, Zurich retains its position as the most expensive city in the world, followed by Geneva and Oslo.

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