Daily Israel Report

Tel Aviv World's 29th Most Expensive City

Protesters complaining about the high cost of housing in Tel Aviv are not imagining it. But do they have to live there?
By David Lev
First Publish: 7/26/2011, 11:03 PM / Last Update: 7/27/2011, 4:16 AM

Downtown Tel Aviv
Downtown Tel Aviv
Flash 90

Protesters in Tel Aviv who are complaining about the high cost of housing in the city are not imagining it; housing in Tel Aviv is quite expensive. In fact, everything about Tel Aviv is expensive, according to a recent survey by ECA International, a human resources consulting firm that helps place employees in overseas companies. According to the poll, Tel Aviv is the world's 29th most expensive city.

The survey is based on ECA's Cost of Living Survey, which looks at the price of everyday expenses and living costs, as part of its advisory service to companies, telling them how much they can expect to spend on employees stationed in countries around the world.

The survey found, among other things, that a “quick lunch” cost $24.30, while a beer cost $8.32. A dozen eggs cost $4.40, and a movie theater ticket costs $10.20. The most relevant part of the report, however, says that “the Israeli real estate market has been resilient and the average home price in the city rose to $499,245 in last year's third quarter.”

According to the poll, Tel Aviv is more expensive than Manhattan, which ranked at number 44. Tokyo was again the world's most expensive city, and five of the top 20 cities were in Australia. The study said that the weakness of the U.S. dollar was responsible for the relative affordability of many U.S. cities, while the strength of several other currencies, especially the Australian dollar, had caused a jump in living expenses there.

The difference - and possibly the wisest solution - lies in taking advantage of the size of the country. If public transportation were improved, and building encouraged in the Shomron (Samaria), one could reach Tel Aviv's job and education opportunities in an hour or less from many less expensive areas - not all of them in the Shomron - and improve one's quality of life and the air one breathes at home.