The Wealth Management Research group at UBS has just released the 40th Annual edition of “Prices & Earnings,” a standardized survey of prices and wages for 73 of the world’s largest metros.
In terms of prices, UBS looks at a shopping basket of 122 different goods and services “geared to western European consumer habits”, and Buenos Aires ranks near the bottom at #68 sandwiched between Kuala Lumpur and Cairo.
Scanning the list from top to bottom, a few patterns emerged in the past year of market turmoil and wild currency fluctuations. The usual suspects are still the world’s most expensive cities (Oslo, Zurich, Geneva), US cities have all dropped several rungs given US dollar weakness against global currencies, Sydney catapulted to the Top 10 while NYC fell out given the Australian dollar’s continued appreciation against the US dollar. (Chart)
In terms of Latin America, the MercoPress headline trumpets one of the key takeaways, “Sao Paulo, Rio, Caracas and Bogota most expensive cities in South America.” We’ve chronicled Brazil’s dwindling affordability vis-a -vis BA, so the #1 and #2 regional ranking of SP (19) and Rio (26) comes as no surprise. Venezuela’s 62% inflation rate has much to do with Caracas’ ranking (47), while Bogota (57) rose 4 spots since the 2009 ranking.
At #68 in the 2011 survey, Buenos Aires ranks in the bottom 8% of all cities surveyed. BA’s price level as measured by UBS was 50.4 excluding rent and 37.0 including rent in 2009. Those figures are 52.4 and 38.5 in the 2011 edition reflecting higher inflation in Argentina. (Full Report from UBS)
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