Tel Aviv 22nd most expensive city, study finds

Zurich, Geneva, and New York city top annual report.

By
September 17, 2015 18:32
1 minute read.
THE TEL AVIV skyline; the area around the city is home to many Israeli start-ups

THE TEL AVIV skyline. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Tel Aviv has high prices and middling purchasing power in comparison to 70 other global cities, an annual report by UBS showed on Thursday.

The report on prices and earnings ranked Tel Aviv as the 22nd most expensive city, not including rent. Zurich, Geneva, and New York city topped the list. In comparison to New York (which the study used as a base), Tel Aviv prices were 28% cheaper, and when rent was included in the equation, they were 38.6% cheaper, and Tel Aviv dropped to 24th in the ranking.

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Prices, however, do not tell the whole story. Wages are an important part of the equation as well. In that ranking, Tel Aviv came in 33rd place, with wages 52.8% lower than New York.

Taking all the data together, UBS found that Tel Aviv ranked 32nd in its purchasing power.

To make the data more digestible, the study calculated how many minutes of work people in various cities had to do in order to earn enough to buy a specific good.

The price of a Big Mac, for example, takes an average Tel Aviv worker 21 minutes to earn, whereas the average worker in Hong Kong needs to work just 9 minutes. In Nairobi, they have to work 173.

To buy a 16 gigabyte iPhone 6, an average worker in Tel Aviv would need to put in 75.3 hours.



That’s nearly triple the amount of work someone in Los Angeles has to do (27.2 hours), but only a fraction of the hours people need to put in in places such as Jakarta (468), Cairo (353.4) or Bangkok (149.6).

For people who were briefly swept up in the movement encouraging Israelis to move to Berlin for the cheaper prices, the study confirms their hunches: Prices are lower, wages are higher, and an iPhone takes 32 fewer work hours to buy.


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