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Thanks to Brexit, London is no longer the most expensive city in the world for startups

London at dawn
Reuters/Toby Melville
It’s morning in London, or so Sadiq Khan hopes.
By Marta Cooper
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Brexit may have spiralled the UK into economic uncertainty and caused the Bank of England to cut interest rates to an all-time low, but if you’re a burgeoning company looking to relocate your team to London, there is some good news.

After two and a half years at the top, the UK capital is now no longer the most expensive city in the world in which to live and work, according to real estate firm Savills.

The company’s latest Live-Work Index looked at housing and office rental costs for a team “representative of a startup business” working in the financial sector, and another in creative industries, and measured these costs in 12 major world cities. The latest rankings from July put London in third place in terms of annual live-work accommodation costs per person, behind New York and Hong Kong.

London’s total costs for one employee over a year fell 11% from December 2015 to July 2016, to $100,141. Meanwhile, commercial and residential property rental prices in New York increased at the start of 2016, pushing the city’s total accommodation costs 2% higher in the July rankings compared to last December.

The Brexit vote that took place in June seems to have had a starring role here. Savills says the drop in the sterling relative to the dollar soon after Britain’s vote to leave the EU “made London very much more competitive on the world stage.”

London’s property market was already slowing (paywall) before Brexit, but took another dent after the vote, contributing further to the city’s fall from the top spot.

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