There are many different variables that can impact the cost of expatriate assignments such as, destination rental markets, currency fluctuations, duration of the assignment and differences in the cost of living.

When it comes to a specific element of the expatriate benefit package, we know that housing in the host location is one of the most costly and visible components of every expatriate compensation package. While the cost is often high, this single element of the package may have the overall biggest impact on the well-being of the expatriate and family. According to our friends at AIRINC, setting appropriate housing allowances can help balance the costs with the impact of the benefit. Appropriate housing allowances will support:

  • business success
  • enhanced recruitment and retention
  • greater assignee and family satisfaction
  • quicker settling-in process

Housing standards are different around the world and housing budgets can vary depending on location, family size, employee level and salary. Currently, the ten most expensive housing markets are:

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Tokyo
  3. London
  4. Hamilton (Bermuda)
  5. Moscow
  6. NYC
  7. Luanda
  8. San Francisco
  9. Shanghai
  10. Seoul

Good news for those moving to San Francisco however...see link below for more on why rental prices are slightly decreasing in The Bay.