According to consulting firm ECA International, Seoul ranked 11th among 262 cities around the world last year in terms of cost of living required for foreigners. Seoul moved up one notch from the previous year to become the third most expensive city in the Asia-Pacific region behind Tokyo (eighth) and Hong Kong (ninth). In 2016, Seoul had ranked sixth in the same region.
Tokyo remained the most expensive city for foreigners in the region for two years in a row. Hong Kong jumped from fifth to second. Shanghai and Beijing moved up three notches each and ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.
On the contrary, Yokohama, Nagoya and Osaka fell from second to fourth to sixth to eighth, respectively. This is because the cost of living in cities in South Korea and China showed a relatively large increase.
ECA International has surveyed the cost of living for foreigners for 45 years so far in order to provide information for resident employees. The consulting firm’s survey covers the prices of various consumer goods and services. It does not take into account house rental costs, vehicle prices and education costs because those are provided by the employees’ companies in most cases.