2017 Relocation Price Index

Now more than ever, people work and live abroad, with many major international cities being made up of a high number of expats and foreign workers. At Movinga, we believe that relocating is exciting: a new city, a new job, a new way of experiencing life. But much too often, the idea of moving can be a stressful one, mainly due to uncertainty over costs and affordability.

We created the Relocation Price Index to give people a clearer understanding of the cost of a move. For 75 cities across the globe, including cosmopolitan epicenters like Tokyo and fast-growing startup hubs like Berlin, we researched the four main factors contributing to the total cost of an expat’s first month in a new home: the rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center, the cost of mobile phone set up and data plan, the price of a monthly public transportation pass, as well as food and drink for thirty days. Our list was then ranked based on the total average cost for each city.

We also calculated the average cost of a move for each city, as a guide to those thinking of relocating. The figure is accurate for a 155 miles move of one person (the average distance for a move worldwide). Although the overall expense will differ depending for each unique move, the costs can be used as an indicator as to which locations are more or less expensive for utilising moving services.

Berlin, Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin and Amsterdam; these are all cities that may be preparing for an influx of banking industry workers due to Brexit,” stated Movinga's Managing Director Finn Hänsel. “Among the factors that the directors of the banks will have to take into consideration for relocating will be the cost of relocating for employees. Therefore, studies like this will be very important in years to come.”

With a greater understanding of the costs associated with relocation, we hope that people will feel empowered to confidently plan their next adventures.

1. Do you still live in the city in which you were born?


2. Are you planing on moving to a new city in the next 5 years?


Relocation Price Index

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If you have any questions regarding our Relocation Price Index, feel free to contact us at press@movinga.com

Sources for the data include the World Bank Research and Outlook Publications, The Economist and the European Commission Statistics (Eurostat), among others.

  • The Average Relocation Costs were calculated by using the average sized move worldwide, 155 miles. Using the average cost of several moving firms in the relevant city, the results were found for the average cost of a 155 miles move away from the city for a one-bedroom groundfloor apartment.
  • Average rent for each city was calculated by finding an average cost per square meter for of all one-bedroom rented properties in the designated area close to each city center currently in the market and rented or sold in the last 30 days. The cost per square meter was then used to calculate the cost for a 370 ft² property.
  • Phone costs were calculated using an overview of country’s mobile provider price plans. Cost includes set-up fees including SIM card and activation, plus a monthly package including and equivalent to 5GB of data.
  • Food and Drink costs were calculated using several sources, as noted above, and were calculated again without using PPP.
  • Transport costs were taken from all transportation companies in noted cities.
  • Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) was not applied, in order to keep the data relevant for a local perspective.

The methodology for the full ranking is based on the following equation: (one month’s rent) + (average living costs (phone + food and drink + transport)) = (first month's cost). Not calculated into the default ranking but also available in the table is the Average Relocation Costs.

The city of Hong Kong was previously wrongfully marked as belonging to the country of Hong Kong. Corrected on January 25th, 2017. We apologize for the mistake.

Data correct on 2nd January 2017. Currency conversions calculated on 2nd January 2017. Small differences in costs may exist due to recently fluctuating markets.

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