Sydney and Canberra have become more expensive for expats, moving back into the top 50 most expensive locations for the first time since 2014.

They rank 48 and 50 respectively in the latest rankings compiled by ECA International, a provider of information and knowledge to big employers around the world.

Sydney Australia

(By f11photo/​

One of the main reasons is that the Australian dollar has had a strong 12 months compared to other currencies and this has seen all the Australian cities on the list move up the rankings.

However, Steven Kilfedder, production manager at ECA International, pointed out that Australian cities are still some way behind the levels they were at in 2012, when seven were in the top 50.

Sydney is the most expensive city, ranked 48, followed my Canberra at 50, then Melbourne at 51, Perth at 54, Brisbane ranked at 58, Darwin at 62, and Adelaide at 64.

The surveys compare a basket of like for like consumer goods and services commonly purchased by assignees in 470 locations worldwide. Certain living costs, such as accommodation rental, utilities, car purchases and school fees are usually covered by separate allowances. Data for these costs are collected separately and are not included in ECA's cost of living basket.

The research shows that in Sydney a litre of petrol cost US$1 compared with $1.60 in London, $2.02 in Hong Kong and $0.83 in New York. A cup of coffee costs $3.36 in Sydney compared with $3.39 in London, $3.98 in New York and $5.03 in Hong Kong.

A cinema ticket is quite pricey in Sydney at $16.10 compared with 15.72 in New York and $12.64 in Hong Kong while a half litre of beer is cheaper at $8.67 compared to $10.04 in New York and $12.29 in Hong Kong.

But fast food, typically a burger fries and a drink is relatively expensive in Sydney, costing $7.55 compared with $7.17 in London, and $8.30 in New York with Hong Kong cheaper at $6.01.

Elsewhere in Australasia, there has been a fall for the New Zealand cities on the list, with Auckland and Wellington both dropping out of the global top 50. In 2016, both locations were more expensive for expatriates than any Australian location, but this trend proved to be short lived, with four Australian cities now overtaking their New Zealand neighbours in our rankings.