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Turns out it is more expensive to live in Toronto or Montreal than it is to live in global cities such as London, Paris, Los Angeles and even Dubai, a new UBS study said Wednesday.


The study, which looked at prices, earnings and purchasing power in 73 major cities around the world between March 2009 and June 2010, pegged Toronto and Montreal as the eighth and ninth most expensive cities excluding the cost of rent.


Oslo, Zurich and Geneva came in the top three, followed by Tokyo, Copenhagen, New York and Stockholm.


London came in 10th, Paris 14th, Dubai 16th, and L.A. 17th.


The cheapest cities are Bucharest, Manila and Mumbai.


Surprisingly, Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia and its financial centre, is also in the bottom five.


The latest list is an update on the last published survey, released in 2009.


Daniel Kalt, head of global economic research with UBS, said Canada's two largest cities both jumped between 10 and 15 places in the past year, largely because of the rising loonie.


"Exchange has a big impact," he said on the phone from Switzerland. "The Canadian dollar has appreciated something like 20% on the U.S. dollar."


Auckland and Sydney are also in the same boat, as the Australian and New Zealand currencies have also appreciated sharply in the past year, the survey said.


While a rising dollar makes for cheaper imports, those cost savings are not necessarily passed on to consumers right away, or even on a one-to-one basis.


So if a consumer is still paying a dollar for a product even if that dollar has appreciated in value, then the consumer is now paying more for that product, Mr. Kalt explained.


The rankings are based on the cost of a basket of 122 goods and services geared towards western European consumer habits, with New York used as the baseline around which other cities are compared.


Mr. Kalt acknowledged that a local in Mumbai, for instance, will not buy the same things as someone in Zurich, so there is some distortion.


"We try to make the basket represent an average consumer basket, so things such as food, clothes, services, appliances. We try to weight it like CPI," he said. "You have to take an identical basket, that of course can have a bias."


However, the survey does have value for ex-patriates living in those cities, who may be buying goods and services more in line.


It is also important to note how large an impact rent plays on cost of living, Mr. Kalt said.


Including rent, New York tops the list. Toronto remains in the top 10, but Montreal gets bumped behind London, Singapore and Dubai among others.


Unfortunately, the poor working stiffs in Toronto and Montreal make far less than their counterparts in Zurich, which tops the gross wages list. Canada's largest city, Toronto, came in a distant 13th, while Montreal is 16th.


The other cities in the top 10 include Copenhagen, Geneva, Oslo, New York, Sydney, L.A., Stockholm, Munich and Luxembourg.


Jakarta, Manila and Mumbai are the countries with the worst working wages.


Meanwhile, Montreal actually came out ahead of Toronto at 11th for purchasing power in terms of gross hourly wages. Toronto was 14th, behind Brussels and Berlin.


Zurich tops this list as well, while Manila, Nairobi and Jakarta bring up the rear.


(Courtesy of The Financial Post)

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:confused: Une autre de ces études totalement arbitraires qui dit tout et rien en même temps. Quelle perte de temps et d'énergie à se comparer constamment selon des critères qui changent d'une étude à l'autre. Le sujet est si vaste et la liste des villes si incomplète que l'on tombe dans de pures généralités sans intérêts.
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On peut faire dire n'importe quoi à des chiffres et tout dépend de ce que l'auteur ou le client de ces étude veut.


La meilleure dacon de comparer et de le faire soi-meme, lorsque possible, après avoir vécu dans plusieurs villes différentes ou d'en discuter avec quelqu'un qui vit dans une autre ville et qui n'a rien à gagner ni à perdre que sa ville soit plus cher ou moins cher !!!

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