Type to search

Cost of Living: Sao Paulo Most Expensive

Sao Paulo is now more expensive than New York and Rome, while Rio de Janeiro is more expensive than St. Petersburg and Helsinki.


Brazilian business hub Sao Paulo is now the most expensive city in the Americas for multinational executives, according to the latest cost of living survey from Mercer.

The survey covers 214 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

The annual ranking, which is used to help multinational companies determine compensation for their expatriate employees, uses
New York as the base city.


Sao Paulo now ranks in 21st place worldwide, while New York ranks in 27th place. Sao Paulo is also more expensive than cities like Rome, Italy; Bern, Switzerland; Sydney, Australia and Vienna, Austria.

”The property rental market in
São Paulo is very active and strong, as demand in the city is very high,” Mercer says. “This has resulted in rental price increases over the past months.”

Another Brazilian city, Rio de Janeiro, ranks as the second-most expensive city in Latin America and in 29th place worldwide. It ranks as more expensive than St. Petersburg in Russia and Helsinki in Finland.

”Cities in Brazil are amongst the most expensive locations in the Americas …as a result of the strengthening of the Brazilian Real against the US dollar,” Mercer says. “In
Rio de Janeiro, after the real estate rental market slowed for a few months, rents are slowly stabilizing and even showing some signs of increases due to rising demand. Higher demand and unchanged supply should have a positive impact on the lease market, with rents expected to increase in 2010.”


Cuban capital Havana ranks third in Latin America and 45th worldwide despite the growing economic problems on the island.

Other key results:

  • Colombia’s capital Bogota ranks 66 worldwide
  • Brazil’s capital, Brasilia 70,
  • Argentine capital Buenos Aires 161,
  • Mexico’s capital Mexico City ranks 166
  • Monterrey, Mexico 193
  • Paraguay’s capital Asuncion 204
  • Bolivia’s capital La Paz 211,
  • Nicaragua’s capital Managua 212

“As the real estate market in Buenos Aires is quite healthy, property rentals have been quite stable, even increasing slightly at the end of 2009,” Mercer says. “It is expected that in 2010 the real estate market will show more activity. There is a good choice of both furnished and unfurnished accommodation.”

© Copyright Latin Business Chronicle



To read this post, you must purchase a Latin Trade Business Intelligence Subscription.
Scroll to top of page
Begin Zoho Tracking Code for Analytics