More importantly for companies happy to locate their staff around the world, Hong Kong's attractiveness has been boosted by the weakening Hong Kong dollar, while sterling has appreciated against the U.S. dollar.
Despite London's climb in the rankings— from fifth to first place in the space of six years—the cost of living and working in the city is nonetheless less than the record set by Hong Kong in 2011 of $128,000 per annum. By comparison, it currently costs $120,568 for employers to locate staff in London in 2014.
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"This year has seen much more modest real estate price growth in nearly all our world cities and some have shown small falls," says Yolande Barnes, director of Savills World Research, in a news release on Tuesday.
World cities where the cost of locating staff has fallen this year include New York, Singapore and Shanghai, as well as Hong Kong, according to Savills.
"This lower level of price growth means that currency fluctuations have produced some of the biggest changes in our rankings, which are expressed in dollar terms," Barnes said, adding that these currency movements are "likely to exercise" multinationals more than property markets.