Living in a city can be an expensive business. In London, the average rent is now over half the average income; in Hong Kong, it’s almost two-thirds. Even cities in more developing countries like Brazil, or, say, France, incur huge costs, with average rents swallowing around a third of average incomes.
Basic economics suggests this will inevitably have an impact on the broader economy. The more money you spend on rent, after all, the less you have available to spend on new clothes, going on holiday, buying birthday presents, or, you know, eating.
If you’re running a business (#startup #entrepreneur #newyearnewbusiness), this affects you, too. If your staff can’t afford housing in the city where you’re based, then they can’t actually work for you. In other words, higher housing costs push up the salary bill, and act as straitjacket on job creation.
The infographic above, produced by our friends Statista, a German online data portal, shows what housing costs are doing to the economies of selected cities around the world. It uses figures from a Global Cities Business Alliance (GCBA) report, which calculated how many potential new jobs could be created in 14 cities around the world if only housing were more affordable.
Beijing comes out on top, as, according to the GCBA figures, housing costs there are higher than the average income. (Yes, actually higher.) That suggests there’d be gargantuan economic benefits if housing were more affordable, so nearly half a million jobs would be hypothetically up for grabs.