Tel Aviv is the most expensive city, outclassing Paris in a new report


Residents of Israel’s seaside metropolis Tel Aviv have complained for years about its price, with the cost of living taking up a significant portion of their wages.

Now a new report asserts their quibbles. Tel Aviv has become the most expensive city to live in, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, a research group linked to Economist magazine. The city, which was previously ranked 5th most expensive, has now overtaken other expensive places like Paris and Singapore.

Economists attribute the jump to a sharp appreciation of the shekel against the dollar. In its report on Wednesday, the Economist Intelligence Unit also pointed to an increase in the costs of groceries and transportation. The report did not include house prices – another common complaint among young professionals and families trying to live in the bustling city.

“It’s really difficult to live here. You pay the rent and you pay for something small and you live, for example, from paycheck to paycheck, so it’s really difficult, ”said Ziv Toledano, a transplant recipient from northern Israel. He said his spending had nearly doubled in Tel Aviv.

The Israeli media constantly compares the prices of commodities in Israel to those of other Western countries, hammering at the public what has been clear for their wallets for years: that the country is much more expensive than others.

Tel Aviv is Israel’s financial and cultural epicenter. It boasts a thriving high-tech scene, world-class dining, and a stretch of Mediterranean beach lined with sparkling new hotels and condominiums.

The shekel is one of the strongest currencies in the world, with its value largely supported by heavy foreign investment in the local high-tech scene.

Dan Ben-David, director of the Shoresh Institution for Socioeconomic Research and economist at Tel Aviv University, said goods and services in Israel are generally more expensive than in other countries. Tel Aviv is more expensive because it’s the economic hub of the country, with high-paying tech jobs attracting talent from across the country driving up food prices and rents.

“Israel is expensive, and in that regard, Tel Aviv is more expensive than other places in Israel because that’s where the good jobs are,” he said.

The city is attracting even more Israelis wanting to live close to its vibrant cultural and social scene. The problem is compounded, Ben-David said, with major congestion leading to the city and inadequate transportation to its suburbs and surrounding towns, sending even more people eager to reside in the city.

This, along with foreign buyers, has caused real estate prices to skyrocket, making buying an apartment in Tel Aviv almost inaccessible to the average Israeli. Even modest apartments in desirable neighborhoods can cost NIS 4 million, or over $ 1.2 million.

Ten years ago, hundreds of thousands of Israelis took to the streets to demand a solution to the rising cost of living.

Successive Israeli governments have strived to create better employment opportunities in other parts of the country, and attempts to expand public transport are underway, but slow.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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