This is not the first time that Luanda has emerged the most expensive city to live in. The Angolan city also ranked first in Mercer's annual Cost of Living Survey in 2014 and 2015, before slipping down to second place in the same survey in 2016.
Demand and supply factors could explain Luanda's ranking, according to commentary from the World Economic Forum (WEF). In the 2015 article that analyzed the reasons why Angola frequently topped cost of living indices despite having a fraction of the GDP per capita of its counterparts, the WEF stated that costs were high because indices such as the Mercer Survey considered costs of living for expatriates rather than locals.
Due to the limited supply of accommodation that expats typically choose to live in, prices tend to be significantly higher, the WEF stated. Coupled with the recovery in the commodities markets over the past year, Angola, which is highly dependent on oil, could be experiencing a further uptick in expat costs of living as the economy picks up.
Separately, the Relocation Price Index also found that on average, the average moving cost of relocating to Hong Kong was the highest, at $3,877.29. The cheapest moving costs were found in Seoul, where it would only cost $297.32.
The sum was calculated by averaging the cost of shipping one's belongings over a distance of 155 miles, the average distance traveled by professionals relocating for work according to Movinga.
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