Expensive cities  
Sydney, one of the world's most expensive cities
As the Australian currency becomes stronger, the cost of living in the country keeps increasing. Consequently, nowadays Sydney -which was once a relatively affordable locality- keeps moving up the ranks of the world's most expensive cities.
According to a study carried out by The Economist Intelligence Unit's 2013 Worldwide Cost of Living Index, Sydney is the third most expensive city in the world. The survey -published in CNN Money- compares n U.S. dollars the average prices of of 160 everyday goods and services, including good, drink, rent, clothing, household supplies and transportation. More than 50,000 individual prices were gathered to create average prices for goods and services in 131 cities.
As the research's findings point out, in Sydney, a loaf of bread costs $5.03, a bottle of table wine is $25.38, a pack of brand-name cigarettes is $15.48 and high-end 3-course dinner for four with wine is $731.96. Indeed, it is not a cheap place for smokers.
The most expensive city to buy a loaf of bread is in Tokyo where it costs $9.06, while Paris -unsurprisingly- can be the most expensive place to have dinner (a bill can reach $2,100).
The American reputed magazine Time also places Sydney on the third place in “The World's 10 Most Expensive Cities of 2013”. Sydney alongside another Australian city -Melbourne- have seen some of the biggest rises in prices over the past year. The strong local currency -partially powered by the country's strong economic links to China's burgeoning economy- has recently pushed up the prices in a significant measure.
Sydney is also one of the most expensive cities for luxury Real Estate. “Global billionaire activity in world real estate markets has been so intense over the last seven years that it has led to a doubling of property values in this sector,” says Savills, a global real estate firm, in its annual World Cities Review report.
According to the study, Sydney is the 10th most expensive billionaire city where the average price per square foot is 580 pounds ($880) and the average property size is 19,400 sq. ft.
This trend might reflect Sydney's growing importance as an hub for business in the region. “Billionaire activity has been concentrated on high-end urban centers rather than leisure properties in the surrounding countryside or regional sunbelts,” says Yolande Barnes, head of world research at Savills. ”This reflects a global preference for urban locations as these billionaires need to be located in cities where they can do business.”
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