Nila Sweeney

New York, Paris, London, Rome and Moscow are some of the world’s most costly cities to call home, but they all have one thing in common – they are cheaper places to live than Sydney.

Cost of living comparisons from Expatistan reveal that Sydney is the fifth most expensive city to live in the world, followed by Perth and Melbourne which were 6th and 7th respectively on the price index.
Expatistan is a collaborative database of prices around the world that is constantly updated and recalculated on a daily basis.

Cities are measured on six different categories, including: food, housing, clothes, transportation, personal care and entertainment. Each category is broken down into representative products.
For instance, a cost comparison between Sydney and New York reveals food is 20% cheaper in the US capital. The category uses comparisons between everyday items such as ½ kg of chicken breast, 1 liter of milk and 1 kg of apples, as well as the average cost of dining out in the business district or buying a Big Mac meal.

Overall Expatistan concludes New York is 12% cheaper than Sydney, with the Aussie city only performing better in the housing category by 10%.

The biggest price difference between the two cities was in clothes category – a pair of Levis 501 would set a New York shopper back $51 (AU$49), while a Sydney shopper can expect to pay around AU$114. One pair of Adidas trainers would cost $76 (AU$72) in the Big Apple and AU$123 in Sydney stores. These price differentials combined with other clothing comparisons reveal that clothing is 50% less expensive in New York.

Recent cost comparisons from Choice also reveal a large discrepancy between the prices charged by Australian retailers and prices for similar products available online.

The consumer watchdog accused retailers of failing to pass on savings from the high Aussie dollar to shoppers.

“There are too many examples from white goods to motorcycles and TV’s to video games where we pay more. It’s up to those in the supply chain here in Australia to justify why this is the case. Importers and retailers should not cry foul if consumers chase better prices, wherever they may be,” says Choice director of campaigns and communications, Christopher Zinn.

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