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Thread: What makes cities expensive?

  1. #1
    Dec 2004
    Portland, OR

    What makes cities expensive?

    I'm taking a trip to Japan in a couple months, and my researching and planning has raised this question in my mind.

    What makes some cities (or larger geographic areas) such incredibly expensive places to live and travel? Maybe Japan is an exception, because it seems like everything is pretty expensive--for example, rail transportation and food, not just real estate. I know that expenses like rent are driven up due to demand, etc, but what are other factors that can contribute to a certain place being, over all, an expensive place to be?

    Maybe this question doesn't make any sense. If anyone has thoughts or experiences to share about Japan specfiically (it's a small country and an island, and maybe that is a big factor?) that would be an interesting starting place.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Planizzlator's avatar
    Dec 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    I think that an important factor that goes into cost of living is the economy. Countries with a high standard of living, low unemployment rate, and high wages have a higher cost of living.

    An example is in areas such as the Silicon Valley or in Seattle where you have high income earners working for tech companies. Wages go up, prices go up.

    Japan traditionally had a low unemployment rate and a strong economy......that coupled with having to pay high prices for raw and natural resources, contributes to its high cost of living.

  3. #3
    Dec 2004
    The Netherlands
    It might also be caused by the exchange rate of your currency.

    For example, the US is very cheap now for EU-citizens, because the dollar is very low.

    But the main reaseon, i think is the economy. A growing economy causes inflation - but only at the places where the economy is growing. That makes differences in the world.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
    Nov 2003
    at Babies R Us or Home Depot
    When I think of cost of living in cities; I think of how much is housing. Either buying or renting. Everything else is gravy. Which is why I live in Baltimore and not NYC or DC, even though I prefer those 2 cities. In Charm City, I can have a spacious apt. and car. In NYC or DC I couldn't have either.

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