Since I have never had a city I can truly call home, geographicis somewhat of a passion/hobby of mine. I like comparing notes between the many cities and countries I have visited. Anytime one of those best vs. worst metro areas lists drops, I am on it like men on Lenny Dykstra.
Today, it is one of those days. Usually the findings are not too shocking, but today is different. This year's list of the world's most expensive cities is a major telltale sign of not only how the global power landscape is changing, but where it is going.
I will leave too much of my own analysis out of it, but I will shed a light on the most obvious outliers on the list. In no particular order, I am surprised by three of the following inclusions:
Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Any Eastern European city in the top ten is a vast symbol of excess and not indicative of the region's economic climate. I often hold back on giving Russia my full on attention as I know it will ignite more debate than I have a taste for. In short, my view is the BRIC is one year of commodity deflation away from becoming the BIC. Muscovy has become a den of oil barons and gas oligarchy, it is far from a desirable location for anyone in the sub eight-figure category. The worst part of the previous sentence is that even the wealthiest are not fully insulated here. Kidnappings remain as much a reality as they were in the Yeltsin era 90's. This goes double for unprepared foreigners. Be wary.
#3 and #1
I will include both Ndjamena, Chad and Luanda, Angola as the preface of our next geographical bubble zone. As the inflation exportation policy of the West moves from America to Europe and the inevitable Chinese recoil becons... where else but Africa? Many of you have thought about working in Africa and there are certainly fortunes to be amassed. The thing in this day and age is, you really can't get ahead of any line unless you are standing in it before it is formed. Africa is still years, maybe even decades away from providing a vast array of investors with serious returns. Yet the mere specter of potential is enough to drive prices sky high in a region. Though many may be tempted to take the simple approach and attribute these costs to inflation...they are in truth: barriers to entry meant to keep competition out.
$7K for a 2BR...who's ready to throw caution to the wind and go become a legend? Is there any other city whose absence from the list surprises you?