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As reported in The Times today, Moscow has overtaken Tokyo and London to become the most expensive city in the world.

The Russian capital was found to be the costliest city on the planet by Mercer, the human resource consultants, who said that it was 12 per cent dearer to live in than London and nearly 25 per cent more expensive than New York City.

You can’t help noticing a sharp rise in wages and house prices over the last 2-3 years, even outside Moscow where we are. Our one-bed flat would have cost £10’000 two years ago, it is now £20’000. As the The Independant writes, flats were certainly undervalued here but wages have also risen rapidly. Unlike India, Russia has not flooded the market with IT trained employees, there is still a shallow Russian web industry.

In my view Russia will loose it’s reputation for cheap outsourcing in the next year. The quality of work is very high though, so it still offers a very competitive option for large scale projects. Also, from speaking to other firms here, local work is looking increasingly attractive.

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Lead SEO, Group Optimisation at Vodafone. Founder at E3 Business Incubator, a consultancy group helping enterprises and start-ups. Digital strategist and veteran SEO/SEM. Views are my own and not representative of my employer (more).

5 Responses to Moscow – most expensive city in the world

  1. how they calculate it is flawed. life in russia cannot possibly compare to life in tokyo on any possible level or by any stretch of the imagination. if you are looking at indicators like pensions (still under 100.00 / mo in russia) and comparing it to a price of coffee at a downtown coffee shop, of course there is a massive desparity. that does not however typify the life of the average moscvite.

  2. True Russky – the Independent article also pointed out that this survey is of foreigners, not native residents. I’m sure the average Moscovite knows how to get by spending far less. Doesn’t help me of course, I get stung for every purchase I make there!

    Things are getting more expensive here though, noticeably. The oil/gas/metals money seems to be making a difference – even the road repairs this summer have been spot on where we are (professionally done, unlike the 2 month patch-job we have most years!)

  3. The vodka may be cheap, but according to the latest cost-of-living survey from Mercer Consulting, Moscow now ranks as the world’s most expensive city,

  4. Cool blog Nick,

    But you’ve got to study grammar and spelling. Really. Yours is atrocious. I lived and worked in Moscow for 5 years and will be returning soon.


    Peter Enright

  5. Hi Peter,

    Yes, I do need to work on my grammar. I only get a little time each day to write blogs posts and this site usually comes in bottom of the list. I hope my posts for Multilingual Search are a little more coherent! This post was particularly bad on that front :)

    Thanks for commenting though and I hope your trip back to Moscow goes to plan.

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