Living in Sydney is affordable, says a report released by real estate group Savills. Although Sydney appears to be expensive, with experts foreseeing a potential housing bubble, it is not so when compared to other global cities such as New York, London and Hong Kong.

According to the 12 Cities Report, Sydney, San Francisco and Los Angeles offered a better value in housing. Meanwhile, London, Hong Kong and New York are the world’s most expensive cities for companies to accommodate employees. The latest Savills Live/Work Index measured the combined cost of residential and office rental per person annually.

Real estate costs in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Mumbai are comparatively higher as compared to its economic productivity, whereas London and New York real estate costs remain less expensive in this regard.

Sydney was ranked third on the list of least expensive global city to live and work in, followed by Mumbai and Shanghai with less appealing lifestyles. Tony Crabb, Savills Australia head of research, said people who worked in the digital economy preferred London and New York to reside in but added that the costs were too high to bear.

"These people could run more profitable businesses if they chose to work and live somewhere like Sydney where the costs are half, provided the opportunities are equal," Crabb said.

The average cost of setting up a small executive team in Sydney would be AU$74,000 per person, with 20 per cent cost kept reserved for office and remaining for housing rents. However, this cost would get doubled if the same setup is opted as in the employment hubs in places such as New York, London and Hong Kong.

On a second measure of affordability, where rental costs are compared with city productivity, Sydney topped the list of the 12 cities with average office and residential rental costs accounting for just 70 per cent of local gross domestic product per capita, ahead of Los Angeles (80 per cent) and San Francisco (100 per cent).

Meanwhile, the report also reveals how the plunge in the Australian dollar made Sydney more affordable for those businesses earning U.S. dollars.

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