Hong Kong is the most expensive city for companies to locate employees in terms of the costs of residential and office space, according to real estate agents Savills.

The Savills World Cities Live-Work index, which measures the annual cost companies incur in renting homes and office space for employees, found that Hong Kong has the most expensive per employee averaging around US$123,000 a year.

This makes it 1.6 times more expensive than Singapore, 3.8 times more expensive than Shanghai and 4.4 times more expensive than Mumbai.

London took second place with a live-work cost of $115,000 per employee per year. New York followed closely behind with a live-work cost of $112,000 per employee.

Globally, the yearly cost to rent residential and office space per employee jumped an average 21 percent since 2009, when most city rental markets bottomed out.

Tech discount?

The financial sector pays the biggest premium for paying for employees to live and work in new cities.

While Hong Kong is the world's most expensive city for its financial sector, it ranked the third most expensive city for tech and creative employee accommodation.

And London, which came second for live/work costs for financial sector employees, was fourth for tech and creative employee accommodation.

"The biggest financial sector premium is seen in Moscow, where Russian money is investing once again, pushing up demand for space in the city," says Barnes.

"Similar forces also seem to be at play in Dubai, which has seen the impact of Middle Eastern cash in a market that has shown significant growth, prompting talk of cooling measures."

Dubai experienced the biggest increase in the costs forcompanies to locate employees in the city.

Total live-work costs soared by 41 percent in Dubai although, according to the report, this is in part due to a hangover from the city's previously high supply low rent era.

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