Q.1 2024

Data Points

A Selection of AIRINC Research Results

This quarter’s cost-of-living research was conducted primarily in North America, Central and South America, the Middle East, Africa, Maritime Southeast Asia, and Oceania.

Housing Update

Snapshots of expatriate-quality rental markets around the world

Bridgetown, Barbados




Jakarta, Indonesia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Barbados country in blue

Bridgetown, Barbados

After a successful government program to welcome digital remote workers and longer-term expatriates, a surge in demand has seen the supply of apartments and more affordable units shrink. High-end villas and the top luxury sector of the market did not see such high inflation.

Canada country in blue


Rents are up in Toronto as demand has increased, pressure on the rental market has seen vacancy rates drop. In Edmonton, vacancy rates plummeted due to an increase in domestic and international arrivals. Reports of record low vacancy rates in Calgary as well, saw rents boosted as a robust spring rental season is expected. Other Canadian locations’ rental prices have also moderately increased.



Rents increased in Dubai as, demand for villas is high and supply is very limited. Even lower end properties in less desirable areas have seen prices increase. This past year has seen more international arrivals enter the rental market which has tightened competition for senior, executive level villas. Abu Dhabi prices were also up due to supply and demand imbalances.

Australia country in blue


With very low vacancy rates in Adelaide, the market has remained tight. New apartment projects are still under construction. Many newer properties are far away from the city center which has not been ideal for expats.

Brisbane has seen a spike in demand for rentals closer to the city center, and with a growing population, rents are up. Many people who were once working from home in small towns during the pandemic have been returning to the office, which is driving the increase in rental demand.

In Gladstone, the surge in rental prices is attributed to the limited availability of new rental properties, coupled with a significant influx of individuals relocating to the region in response to the abundance of high-quality job opportunities. Vacancy rates have dropped.

Most other Australian locations are moderately up with just a few remaining stable.

Indonesia country in blue

Jakarta, Indonesia

The flow of expats arriving has not slowed this past quarter. The rental market, especially for houses, is very limited. This landlord’s market makes bidding wars among potential tenants a possibility for prime units.

Malaysia country in blue

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Increasing rents can be attributed to a shortage of properties. Many construction projects were supposed to be completed but were left unfinished because of the pandemic. Landlords have increased rents for newer buildings.

Singapore country in blue


After several years of heavy rent increases, the rental market is now in decline with higher vacancy rates after thousands of apartments were added to the market. A noticeable softening in demand from expatriates across all industry sectors has seen rents drop.

Goods and Services Update

Highlights from AIRINC’s in-depth research
Volatility in Argentina

The already turbulent Argentine economy was thrown into even greater turmoil in December of last year when President Javier Milei announced a slew of austerity measures, including slashing fuel subsidies and funding for provincial governments, along with the devaluation of the Argentine peso by more than 50%.

Milei maintains that these reforms are necessary to combat the country’s longstanding hyperinflation. Whether the changes will eventually result in stabilization remains to be seen. The immediate effect was an abrupt skyrocketing of prices. AIRINC’s on-the-ground survey in February found that prices had increased over 150% in the previous 6 months alone.

Argentina has already been a host to many widespread protests this year, and poverty rates have increased. However, before these measures went into place, Milei had indeed warned that things would need to get worse before they would get better – and many Argentines took that to heart. One potentially positive indicator for the economy is that, despite the annual inflation of over 275% for February, the monthly inflation rate has been lowering since its sharp increase in December.

Goods and Services Inflation

Selected locations with inflation higher than 5% for 6 months
Angola flag
Argentina flag
Burundi flag
Democratic Republic of Congo flag
Democratic Republic of Congo
Egypt flag
Ethiopia Flag
Gaza and Palestine flag
Ghana flag
Haiti flag
Iran flag
Lebanon flag
Liberia flag
Malawi flag
Nigeria flag
Gaza and Palestine flag
Rwanda flag
Sao Tome And Principe flag
Sao Tome and Principe
Sierra Leone flag
Sierra Leone
Somaliland flag
South Sudan flag
South Sudan
Sudan flag
Syria flag
U.S. Virgin Islands flag
U.S. Virgin Islands
Vanuatu flag
Venezuela flag
Yemen flag
Zambia flag
Zimbabwe flag

Selected 3-month Exchange Rate fluctuations of more than 5%


Currency: ARS

Change vs EUR: -5.6%

Change vs USD: -5.2%


Currency: CLP

Change vs EUR: -9.1%

Change vs USD: -8.8%


Currency: EGP

Change vs EUR: -31.6%

Change vs USD: -31.3%


Currency: GHS

Change vs EUR: -6.7%

Change vs USD: -6.3%


Currency: KES

Change vs EUR: 10.4%

Change vs USD: 10.9%


Currency: NGN

Change vs EUR: -50.2%

Change vs USD: -50%

Northern Cyprus

Currency: TRY

Change vs EUR: -9.8%

Change vs USD: -9.4%

South Sudan

Currency: SSP

Change vs EUR: -32%

Change vs USD: -31.8%

Sri Lanka

Currency: LKR

Change vs EUR: 6%

Change vs USD: 6.5%


Currency: SRD

Change vs EUR: 6%

Change vs USD: 6.6%


Currency: TRY

Change vs EUR: -9.8%

Change vs USD: -9.4%


Currency: ZWL

Change vs EUR: -65.4%

Change vs USD: -65.3%

Tax Update

Changes in expatriate tax







Under pressure to address budget imbalances, the Czech government has amended tax legislation. As part of the package, the government has reintroduced the sickness insurance portion of employee social security at 0.6% (subject to the wage base). The spousal personal tax credit has been limited, and the threshold for the top rate of taxation has been reduced. The net effect is an increase in social security and income tax for most taxpayers. Separately, the package also limits exemptions for in-kind benefits, such as meals, accommodation, and use of company vehicles for personal use. Certain non-monetary educational, sporting, and health benefits are now capped at CZK 21,983 per year.


The maximum annual contribution to pension security has increased slightly. The net effect is a small increase in social security and a small decrease in income tax for most taxpayers. New tax regulations have been issued effective, January 1, 2023 relating to non-cash benefits in kind (BIK). Previously, most BIK were not deductible for the employer and not includible in income for the employee. Under the new regulations, BIK are now generally taxable to an employee and deductible for the employer. There are limited exceptions for benefits in kind paid for certain food and beverages, BIK’s with respect to employment in a remote hardship area, uniforms or safety equipment, or those paid by a government paying entity. Taxable BIK are now subject to withholding tax. The net effect of the changes in BIK taxation will be an increase in aggregate tax costs since the corporate tax rate is 22% and the top marginal individual income tax rate is 35%.


For 2024, the income tax brackets, personal allowance credits, and PAYE allowance have been adjusted for inflation. The Universal Social Charge schedule has been adjusted slightly, with the middle rate reduced from 4.5% to 4%. The net effect of these changes is a small decrease in tax for all taxpayers. Social security is unchanged, but the rate is scheduled to increase from 4% to 4.1%, effective October 1, 2024. The Special Assignment Relief Program (SARP), which allows tax concessions for qualifying inbound employees has been revised and extended to the end of 2025. Qualifying employees arriving prior to 2024 may exempt 30% of employment earnings exceeding EUR 75,000 but no more than EUR 1,000,000 from Irish taxation. For inbound employees arriving in 2024, the earnings threshold is increased to EUR 100,000. Separately, Ireland Revenue has mandated that an employer must file Form SARP 1A within 90 days of the employee’s arrival to qualify for the program.


Adjustments have been made to levy rebates. The calculation of rental value of self-owned residence, the adjustment for the mortgage interest deduction, the maximum contribution for social security (national insurance), family allowances, and the tax rate schedule have been adjusted for inflation. The top marginal tax rate is unchanged at 49.5%. The net effect on social security contributions varies by income level. The net effect on tax is a small reduction.

Expatriate 30% Ruling – Beginning in 2024, the expatriate tax concession known as the 30% ruling has been restricted. First, the maximum exclusion is capped. The threshold is tied to the salary level of certain government administrator employees which is indexed for inflation annually. For 2024, the salary threshold for the exclusion is EUR 233,000, or a maximum exclusion of EUR 69,900. Income that exceeds the threshold are subject to the top marginal tax rate of 49.5%. Second, the exclusion percentage is tapered over a 5 year period: 30% exclusion (up to the cap) for the first 20 months, 20% exclusion for the next 20 months, and 10% for the remaining 20 months of the 5 year period. Due to the tapering of the exclusion during the 5 year period, most calendar tax years will be split partial years. These new restrictions apply to new inbound assignees that start in 2024 or after.  Finally, qualifying expatriates are now considered full tax residents, subject to taxation on non-Dutch investment income. The Dutch parliament has instructed the government to review the new rules for the expatriate tax concession to simplify and streamline the administration on employers, so there may be further adjustments to the 30% ruling. Expatriate employees who already benefit from the exclusion prior to 2024 will be able to use the old rules for two years (30% exclusion uncapped) and will be subject to the new cap beginning in 2026.


The top national tax rate remains at 20%. There have been inflationary adjustments to deductions, and the employment income credit formula has been revised. The 2024 Stockholm local tax rate has increased from 29.885% to 30.425%, and the 2024 Malmo local tax rate has increased from 32.68% to 32.697%. The net effect is a decrease in tax on lower incomes and an increase in tax on higher incomes.

United States Tax Update

At the Federal level for 2024, there have been inflation-indexing adjustments to tax brackets and the standard deduction. The tax rates are unchanged. There is an increase in the social security wage base. Statistical itemized deductions have not been updated as the IRS published information on deductions claimed was not available at the time of the tax update. The net effect of these changes varies by income level, family size, state selected, and deduction type. An election-year bipartisan agreement is unlikely, but possible, as Democrats seek to restore the 2021 temporary higher child tax credits from the American Rescue Plan, and Republicans pursue a restoration of the deductibility of research and development (R&D) investments that expired at the end of 2022. AIRINC will update the tax models, as needed.

Notable state tax developments

Arkansas state


The Natural State top marginal rate has decreased from 4.9% to 4.4%.

California state graphic


The Golden State has increased the State Disability Insurance (SDI) rate from 0.9% to 1.1%, and removed the cap on contributions. The top marginal rate, highest in the nation, is now 14.4%.

Connecticut state silhouette


The Constitution State has decreased the bottom two rates from 3% and 5%, to 2% and 4.5%.

Georgia state in light blue


The Golden State has increased the State Disability Insurance (SDI) rate from 0.9% to 1.1%, and removed the cap on contributions. The top marginal rate, highest in the nation, is now 14.4%.

Indiana state in light blue


The Hoosier State has reduced the flat tax rate from 3.15% to 3.05% for 2024. If state revenues increase by at least 2% from the previous budget year, the rate will continue to decrease to 3% in 2027-2028, and 2.9% from 2029 onwards.

Iowa state graphic


The Hawkeye State top rate has been reduced from 6% to 5.7%. Further top rate reductions are scheduled to 4.82% in 2025, and finally a flat rate of 3.9% in 2026 onwards.

Kentucky state graphic


The Bluegrass State flat tax rate has been reduced from 4.5% to 4%.

Mississippi state silhouette


The Magnolia State top rate has been reduced from 5% to 4.7%. Further top rate reductions are scheduled to 4.4% in 2025, and 4% in 2026 onwards.

Missouri state graphic


The Show-Me State has reduced the top rate from 4.95% to 4.8%.

Montana state in light blue


The Treasure State has enacted tax reform to allow Federal standard and itemized deductions, and reduced the top rate from 6.75% to 5.9%.

Nebraska state graphic


The Cornhusker State has reduced the top rate from 6.64% to 5.84%. Further reductions are scheduled to 5.2% in 2025, 4.55% in 2026, and 3.99% in 2027 onwards.

North Carolina state in light blue

North Carolina

The Tar Heel State has reduced the flat rate from 4.75% to 4.5%. Further reductions are scheduled to 4.25% in 2025, and 3.99% in 2026 onwards. From 2027 to 2034, if general revenue fund targets are met, the rate will be lowered to the greater of (1) the prior year rate decreased by one-half percentage point or (2) 2.49%.

North Dakota state graphic

North Dakota

The Peace Garden State has reduced the top rate from 2.9% to 2.5%.

Ohio state in light blue


The Buckeye State has reduced the top rate from 3.99% to 3.5%.

Utah state graphic


The Beehive State has reduced the flat rate from 4.85% to 4.65%.

Washington State graphic


The Evergreen State does not impose an income tax. However, effective July 1, 2023, a new 0.58% payroll tax for employee-paid premiums to fund WA Cares long-term insurance benefits has been implemented. Employees can opt out if they have alternate coverage, are certain qualifying individuals, or are residing out of state.

Wisconsin state silhouette


The Badger State has reduced the top rate from 6.5% to 5.12%.

Research Location Update

Q.1 2024 Researched Locations and Upcoming Q.2 2024 Locations

AIRINC researches more than one hundred fifty locations each quarter.

Q.1 2024 Researched Locations
Q.2 2024 Upcoming Locations

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Please contact your Client Services representative for more details and further information.

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