South Korea's capital eclipsed Tokyo to become Asia's most expensive city for expatriates, according to a new survey.
Seoul also climbed up the international ranks to the 10th position, from 22nd a year ago, ECA International's Cost of Living survey showed, overtaking London, Paris and Stockholm.
Prices of items in ECA's shopping basket increased in South Korea at a faster rate this year than last year, ECA said in a press release, despite overall inflation remaining benign. In November, consumer prices rose an annual 1 percent, their slowest pace in nine months, and well below the central bank's target 2.5 to 3.5 percent range.
"What has had more of an impact on costs for many employees on assignment [in Seoul] is the appreciation of the won," the consulting firm said.
The Korean currency has strengthened nearly 10 percent against the Japanese yen in the past twelve months and more than 5 percent against the euro during the same period.
ECA's calculations of living costs are based on a basket of daily goods, such as food, household goods, leisure services, clothing, restaurant prices as well alcohol and tobacco. Rent, utilities, car purchases and school fees are not included as they tend to be compensated separately in expatriate packages.