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  #1  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2019, 4:31 AM
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Most expensive city to live in

What city is the most expensive to live in? (note this is just for fun)
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  #2  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2019, 4:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Danie View Post
What city is the most expensive to live in? (note this is just for fun)
The most expensive city I've lived in is Norfolk. I think Austin is more expensive now(and it probably was back in 13') but I was out in the burbs so I didn't feel it as much.

I know this isn't the OP original question, but that could be answered with a simple graph.
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  #3  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2019, 5:29 AM
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In dollars or PPP? In dollars I bet it's Zurich. In PPP it's probably a city in Africa or India.

The most expensive place I've lived is Palo Alto (although I lived on campus, like virtually all undergrads since you'd be insane not to).
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  #4  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2019, 5:57 AM
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Probably the Bay Area.

Or you mean relative to incomes? Probably somewhere in Africa, Latin America or South Asia. Somewhere like Mumbai.
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  #5  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2019, 7:47 AM
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I lived in Chicago once, and even though rent was much cheaper than it is in the Bay Area, life overall was not that much more manageable.

I'm not exactly sure what it was, whether it was that wages were lower (minimum wage is a little bit lower in Chicago than in San Francisco, but salaries seem to 30 - 40% lower), it was harder to find a job in the first place (I failed to get a job in Chicago, definitely 50% user error, but also tougher to get interviews), or things were just farther apart and more difficult access (Chicago is really spread out), but in the end, Chicago didn't end up feeling that much "cheaper" from experience.

I'll go out on a limb and say that Los Angeles is the most expensive place in the US when you factor in rent, salaries, and traffic.
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  #6  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2019, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Probably the Bay Area.

Or you mean relative to incomes? Probably somewhere in Africa, Latin America or South Asia. Somewhere like Mumbai.
Relative to incomes, the state of California comes to mind.

That's why it has the highest poverty rate in the United States.
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  #7  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2019, 2:54 PM
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Measured by dollars, easily the SF Bay Area. San Francisco is also the most expensive major city. However, Manhattan is more expensive than SF.

Last edited by iheartthed; Sep 28, 2019 at 4:15 PM.
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  #8  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2019, 4:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Sun Belt View Post
Relative to incomes, the state of California comes to mind.

That's why it has the highest poverty rate in the United States.
This is untrue, obviously. California has one of the lowest poverty rates in the U.S.
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  #9  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2019, 4:02 PM
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Jacksonville.
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  #10  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2019, 4:06 PM
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Originally Posted by SFBruin View Post
I lived in Chicago once, and even though rent was much cheaper than it is in the Bay Area, life overall was not that much more manageable.

I'm not exactly sure what it was, whether it was that wages were lower (minimum wage is a little bit lower in Chicago than in San Francisco, but salaries seem to 30 - 40% lower), it was harder to find a job in the first place (I failed to get a job in Chicago, definitely 50% user error, but also tougher to get interviews), or things were just farther apart and more difficult access (Chicago is really spread out), but in the end, Chicago didn't end up feeling that much "cheaper" from experience.
The Bay Area might have the highest prices but locals arent as in bad shape financially as folks in many far less expensive areas...
https://finance.yahoo.com/amphtml/ne...090000873.html
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  #11  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2019, 4:14 PM
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According to this Demographia report measuring housing prices relative to local incomes in urban areas across Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, UK, and the US (random assortment but ok); Hong Kong is far and away the most expensive city. In the US, it's actually Los Angeles.

http://www.demographia.com/dhi.pdf

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  #12  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2019, 4:26 PM
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Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin View Post
According to this Demographia report measuring housing prices relative to local incomes in urban areas across Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, UK, and the US (random assortment but ok); Hong Kong is far and away the most expensive city. In the US, it's actually Los Angeles.

http://www.demographia.com/dhi.pdf

Definitely wouldn't have expected it to be L.A.

It's not surprising, but important to note, how strong the correlation is between population decline and loose land use regulation. Chicago could probably be back above 3M in no time with tighter regional land use policies.
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  #13  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2019, 4:33 PM
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Definitely wouldn't have expected it to be L.A.
I could see LA/SD as "more expensive" than the Bay Area.

The Bay Area has an insane amount of highly paid jobs. My wife really likes the West Coast, so we both have job alerts set to these areas, and there's an avalanche of jobs in the Bay Area that would suit our skills. In contrast, seems like very slim pickings in LA/SD.

And the "nice" parts of LA/SD are about as expensive. My wife really likes coastal Orange County (places like Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach) and those areas have the same home prices as, say, Palo Alto, Atherton, etc. You get practically nothing for $1 million. Even $2 million is kinda sad.

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It's not surprising, but important to note, how strong the correlation is between population decline and loose land use regulation. Chicago could probably be back above 3M in no time with tighter regional land use policies.
Yes, Chicago is an outlier in the city and surroundings are extremely pro-development. I'm not clear, however, why restricting development would boost population, as if the people living in 200k homes in corn fields would opt for shoeboxes in Lincoln Park if their present lifestyles were outlawed.
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  #14  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2019, 4:48 PM
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I could see LA/SD as "more expensive" than the Bay Area.

\My wife really likes the West Coast, so we both have job alerts set to these areas, and there's an avalanche of jobs in the Bay Area that would suit our skills. In contrast, seems like very slim pickings in LA/SD.
Same. And LA is my preference if I were to move to California.

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Yes, Chicago is an outlier in the city and surroundings are extremely pro-development. I'm not clear, however, why restricting development would boost population, as if the people living in 200k homes in corn fields would opt for shoeboxes in Lincoln Park if their present lifestyles were outlawed.
Chicago has quite a few areas that are struggling for residents and Lincoln Park isn't one of them, so it is probably not the most appropriate comparison. But there is a serious policy issue when you have large areas of abandoned/under-utilized development in the core, which is available in abundance in Chicago, and are still creating greenfield developments on the fringe. That is one of the main criteria distinguishing the Rust Belt from other former industrial hubs.
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  #15  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2019, 5:02 PM
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Same. And LA is my preference if I were to move to California.
Yup. If I were to move to CA, I would easily prefer LA/OC over Bay Area. But it seems like the professional job market is much better in the Bay Area.
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  #16  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2019, 5:05 PM
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Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
Chicago has quite a few areas that are struggling for residents and Lincoln Park isn't one of them, so it is probably not the most appropriate comparison. But there is a serious policy issue when you have large areas of abandoned/under-utilized development in the core, which is available in abundance in Chicago, and are still creating greenfield developments on the fringe. That is one of the main criteria distinguishing the Rust Belt from other former industrial hubs.
Except that fringe/outer suburban development in metro Chicago is perhaps the lowest it's been in recent memory. Suburban real estate is struggling.

A majority of the growth in jobs, wages, and population is in the core. Thus, the downfall brought about by suburbanization is a problem that appears to be correcting itself, albeit not fast enough (IMO)
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  #17  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2019, 6:02 PM
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Of places I've been to it would be London, UK by a considerable margin.
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  #18  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2019, 6:20 PM
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Yup. If I were to move to CA, I would easily prefer LA/OC over Bay Area. But it seems like the professional job market is much better in the Bay Area.
Professional job market is pretty good north and south now, but yes, the highest paying jobs would obviously skew towards the bay area. Glad to have a home in both places.

Food is more expensive in the Bay. When I am working out of LA I can grab lunch for $8 to $10 bucks but in SF I pay $15 to $20 for a comparable meal.

Gas is a little cheaper up north.
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  #19  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2019, 7:10 PM
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are we really the hardest country to live in or is there lots of rich people? i thought america was poor. we havent built a new city in 200 years (vegas doesnt really count).
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  #20  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2019, 7:33 PM
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are we really the hardest country to live in or is there lots of rich people? i thought america was poor. we havent built a new city in 200 years (vegas doesnt really count).
The hardest? I highly doubt that. Out of the English-speaking countries America probably has the best opportunity to find a balance of cost-of-living, career, and lifestyle that fits each person's needs.

Living in Canada and working in my field I dont really have a choice but to live in Toronto (not that I dont love it). Unless there was some one-in-a-million type of job opportunity that popped up in Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, etc. I would probably be setting my career back a fair bit by relocating. I feel like Australia would pretty much be Melbourne or Sydney. The UK is London or bust for most professional services.

The U.S.'s most desirable cities are definitely expensive, but so are the aformentioned premier cities in most other developed countries. The difference is there are fewer Denvers, Salt Lake Cities, Charlotte's, Columbus's, etc. Where you can still make great money in an affordable city.

With some exceptions for master-planned government centers, new cities dont really get built anywhere. Not sure where you would stick a brand new city in the continental U.S. that wouldnt already be developed if it made economic sense.
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