San Francisco isn't one of the world's most expensive cities, despite everyone complaining how expensive it is. But 2 major US cities are

San Francisco isn't one of the world's most expensive cities, despite everyone complaining how expensive it is. But 2 major US cities are

beverly hills

Filipe Frazao/Shutterstock

Beverly Hills is one of the priciest neighborhoods in the Los Angeles area.

  • The Economist Intelligence Unit recently released its latest Worldwide Cost of Living index, which ranks the most expensive cities around the globe.
  • This year, American cities New York and Los Angeles made the list. While neither made the cut in 2018, both have ranked in the top 10 in previous years.
  • New York ranked No. 7 and is tied with Seoul and Copenhagen.
  • Los Angeles ranked No. 10 and is tied with Tel Aviv.

New York City and Los Angeles are once again ranked among the world's most expensive cities.

The two US cities are the only two North American locations to make this year's list, released by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The No. 1 spot this year is shared by three cities: Hong Kong - which surpassed New York City for the most billionaires worldwide last fall - Singapore, and Paris.

Last year, New York City and Los Angeles ranked No. 13 and No. 14 respectively. This was due, in part, to a weakening dollar when compared to other currencies. This year, however, a stronger US dollar raised the American cities' placement on the ranking. Five years ago, for comparison, New York and Los Angeles tied for 39th place.

Read more: These are the most expensive cities in the world in 2019


As Roxana Slavcheva, editor of the survey, told Business Insider, "New York and LA both made the Top 10 in the 2016 report; NY ranked 7th (jumping 15 places from 2015) and LA tied for 8th (jumping 19 spots) with Seoul and Copenhagen."

Like others on the list, New York is one of the world's most popular real estate markets for ultra high net worth individuals; notoriously expensive TriBeCa ranks as one of the city's most expensive neighborhoods. Some of New York's newest luxury housing can be found in the new Hudson Yards neighborhood; the $25 billion development is the most expensive real estate development in US history.

Though it ranked seventh, New York leads for the highest average price for a beer.

Over on the west coast, Los Angeles is also home to an ultra-prime residential market, which, as defined by global consultancy Knight Frank, means the city has seen at least three home sales over $25 million every year since 2015.

Amongst the city's current notable real-estate listings is an empty hilltop plot originally listed for one billion dollars that's now being sold for a $350 million discount. Malibu Road, Malibu Beach Colony is the city's priciest neighborhood - the neighborhood's median sale price as of December 2018 was well over $10 million.


Notably absent from the top of the list, however, is notoriously expensive San Francisco. Despite being home to a housing market that's frequently described as being in crisis and boasting costs of living so high that it's driving people out in droves, the city only ranks 25th on the Economist Intelligence Unit's list.

The city did make one of the biggest moves up the ranking since 2018: San Francisco moved up 12 spots in the past 12 months.