Q.2 2023

Data Points

A Selection of AIRINC Research Results

This quarter’s cost of living research was conducted primarily in Europe, Asia, and mainland Southeast Asia.

Housing Update

Snapshots of expatriate-quality rental markets around the world

Tokyo, Japan

Bucharest, Romania

United Kingdom

Dhaka, Bangladesh


Istanbul, Turkey

Japan country in blue

Tokyo, Japan

Sources noted that higher asking rents this year are due to high demand and a very limited number of large apartments and houses. Many Americans have returned post pandemic restrictions and some companies are moving in from Hong Kong and China, creating new Asian headquarters in Tokyo. Along with new and returning expatriates, Japanese executive families are also competing for larger units in prime areas.

Romania country map

Bucharest, Romania

The government increased the rent income tax in January 2023, so most owners increased their rents to accommodate the tax increase. People coming from Ukraine rented most of what was on the market last year. Availability is low and although some new units will be coming to market, high construction costs mean rents are likely to remain high for the foreseeable future.

UK country in blue

United Kingdom

Rents rose in the second quarter; vacancy rates remain low, and demand has increased from all sectors. In London the pace of rental inflation is slowing but rents are still up across the city. The situation is similar in most UK locations; Aberdeen rents increased as demand grows in an already tight market. New “green” laws in Scotland have also forced landlords to comply with the regulations which have had a knock-on effect on rent prices. Grimsby is up due to the increasing number of people moving to the area with a limited supply of quality housing.

Bangladesh country in blue

Dhaka, Bangladesh

The luxury rental market in Dhaka is growing due to foreign investment. More expatriates arriving from Japan, China, and South Korea, in addition to a growing local middle class, has increased demand.

Netherlands country map


Rents are up with lower vacancy rates for properties available to a large and growing pool of expats. Government activity to allow more social housing has further reduced the private housing supply and proposed legislation could complicate the rental scene even more. New construction is very limited due to stringent green construction laws and the lack of space in already developed larger cities like Amsterdam.

Turkey country in blue

Istanbul, Turkey

Rents in Istanbul are up as the number of expatriates and people who were fleeing the war in Ukraine increased demand. Existing tenants are reluctant to move given the rapid depreciation of the lira (TRY) and rising rents in local currency.

Goods and Services Update

Highlights from AIRINC’s in-depth research
Spotlight on: Argentine Peso (ARS)

Over the past year the Argentine peso has lost roughly half its value. Confidence in the Argentine economy both at home and abroad is low as the country battles rising prices and an increasingly unsustainable debt burden. Government-reported annual inflation has been over 100% each month since February. Although Argentina is no stranger to economic turbulence, these are the highest inflation levels since the early 2000s when the country was in the midst of another economic crisis and a sovereign debt default which has impacted its financial standing for decades afterward.

Argentina is a major grain exporter and a historic drought has cut harvest numbers significantly. This reduction in exports has led to an attendant drop in foreign currency inflows and reserves in the country. The central bank is attempting to curb inflation and promote ARS accounts by raising interest rates, which are now at 97%, but these actions have not yet been enough to turn the tide. A deal with the International Monetary Fund signed during the previous administration is a divisive political issue and is in ongoing negotiations. The current president, Alberto Fernández, has announced that he will not run for re-election in October of this year.

Official currency exchange restrictions which limit the purchase of US dollars to $200 per month also mean that the parallel rate, otherwise known as the “blue dollar”, is an active exchange market. The blue dollar may be twice as high as the official exchange rate.

Goods and Services Inflation

Selected locations with inflation higher than 5% for 6 months
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Northern Cyprus
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Selected 3-month Exchange Rate fluctuations of more than 5%


Currency: COP

Change vs EUR: 11.8%

Change vs USD: 14%


Currency: GHS

Change vs EUR: 8.4%

Change vs USD: 10.7%

Sri Lanka

Currency: LKR

Change vs EUR: 7.6%

Change vs USD: 9.9%


Currency: HTG

Change vs EUR: 7.5%

Change vs USD: 9.7%


Currency: ALL

Change vs EUR: 6.2%

Change vs USD: 8.5%


Currency: BRL

Change vs EUR: 5.5%

Change vs USD: 7.8%


Currency: MXN

Change vs EUR: 5.6%

Change vs USD: 7.8%


Currency: PLN

Change vs EUR: 5.4%

Change vs USD: 7.5%


Currency: HUF

Change vs EUR: 4.6%

Change vs USD: 6.7%

Ascension Island

Currency: SHP

Change vs EUR: 2.9%

Change vs USD: 5.1%

British Indian Ocean Territory

Currency: GBP

Change vs EUR: 2.9%

Change vs USD: 5.1%

Falkland Islands

Currency: FKP

Change vs EUR: 2.9%

Change vs USD: 5.1%


Currency: GIP

Change vs EUR: 2.9%

Change vs USD: 5.1%


Currency: GBP

Change vs EUR: 2.9%

Change vs USD: 5.1%

Isle of Man

Currency: GBP

Change vs EUR: 2.9%

Change vs USD: 5.1%


Currency: GBP

Change vs EUR: 2.9%

Change vs USD: 5.1%


Currency: GBP

Change vs EUR: 2.9%

Change vs USD: 5.1%

St. Helena

Currency: SHP

Change vs EUR: 2.9%

Change vs USD: 5.1%

Tristan da Cunha

Currency: GBP

Change vs EUR: 2.9%

Change vs USD: 5.1%

United Kingdom

Currency: GBP

Change vs EUR: 2.9%

Change vs USD: 5.1%

Wales, U.K.

Currency: GBP

Change vs EUR: 2.9%

Change vs USD: 5.1%


Currency: SDG

Change vs EUR: -7.7%

Change vs USD: -5.8%


Currency: LAK

Change vs EUR: -9.2%

Change vs USD: -7.3%


Currency: KES

Change vs EUR: -9.5%

Change vs USD: -7.6%


Currency: RUB

Change vs EUR: -9.7%

Change vs USD: -7.9%


Currency: SRD

Change vs EUR: -10.1%

Change vs USD: -8.3%

Sierra Leone

Currency: SLL

Change vs EUR: -11.1%

Change vs USD: -9.4%


Currency: VES

Change vs EUR: -13.2%

Change vs USD: -11.7%

Democratic Republic of Congo

Currency: CDF

Change vs EUR: -13.8%

Change vs USD: -12%


Currency: LBP

Change vs EUR: -19.2%

Change vs USD: -17.6%

Northern Cyprus

Currency: TRY

Change vs EUR: -19.9%

Change vs USD: -18%


Currency: TRY

Change vs EUR: -19.9%

Change vs USD: -18%


Currency: ARS

Change vs EUR: -20.1%

Change vs USD: -18.6%

South Sudan

Currency: SSP

Change vs EUR: -20.7%

Change vs USD: -19.1%


Currency: NGN

Change vs EUR: -21.5%

Change vs USD: -19.9%


Currency: AOA

Change vs EUR: -26%

Change vs USD: -24.5%


Currency: BIF

Change vs EUR: -28%

Change vs USD: -26.4%


Currency: ZWL

Change vs EUR: -83.9%

Change vs USD: -83.5%

Tax Update

Changes in expatriate tax







Family allowances have increased slightly. Tax rates and brackets are unchanged. The Low Income Tax Offset (LITO) is unchanged. Employees do not have compulsory contributions to social security (superannuation). However, the employer-paid superannuation contribution rate has increased from 10.5% to 11% for the 2023/2024 tax year, and the maximum annual contribution has increased from AUD 25,292 to AUD 27,399. The superannuation rate is scheduled to increase incrementally by 0.5% every year until it is 12% by July 1, 2025. A scheduled decrease in the tax rates and brackets will be implemented for the 2024/2025 tax year. There is no change in the income tax due on employment income for the 2023/2024 tax year.

There are two changes announced that will impact the tax treatment of Superannuation Funds. First, beginning with the 2025/2026 tax year, the concessional tax rates on earnings within Superannuation funds will be assessed using two rates – the existing 15% concessional rate on earnings (paid by the fund), and a 30% rate on earnings on fund balances over AUD 3,000,000. The government will consult with the public on how to implement these changes, including the possibility the individual account holder being responsible for the additional 15% tax on the earnings balance over the threshold (additional tax not paid by the fund). Second, beginning with the 2026/2027 tax year, employer contributions to Superannuation must be made at the same time as when salary and wages are paid. This is intended to reduce unpaid mandatory contributions and strengthen the Superannuation system.


Inflation indexing has been applied to tax brackets, credits, and thresholds. The social security has increased slightly. Quebec implemented tax rate reductions for lower incomes. The net effect is a small increase in social security and a decrease in tax for most taxpayers across Canada.

Canada has enacted an Under-used Housing Tax (UHT) on qualifying property owners to help ease the residential housing shortage. Owners impacted include Canadian non-citizens that do not have a permanent residence in Canada, qualifying trusts, corporations, and partnerships. Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada are exempt from UHT. The UHT is 1% of the property’s value. Related legislation prohibits purchases of residential property by non-residents during 2023 and 2024. Toronto and Vancouver have implemented similar Vacant Home Taxes designed to impose taxes on individuals who own residential property that is left vacant. Exceptions apply.


The India government has passed the Finance Ace 2023 on March 31, 2023. The Act includes several significant tax changes applicable to individuals including a revised Concessional Tax Regime (CTR) that is now the default tax regime applicable for employees. The CTR includes updated tax brackets with a top marginal tax rate of 30%, an increased standard deduction of INR 50,000, a reduction in the surcharge for higher incomes under the CTR, and the elimination of most deductions. The maximum tax rate including surcharges and cess (also known as a surtax) decreased from approximately 47.9% to 43.7%. Social security (known as Employee Provident Fund or EPF) contribution rates are unchanged. The net effect of these changes varies by income level.


The maximum annual social security contribution increased slightly from EUR 3,154 to EUR 3,426. The national and Barcelona tax rate schedules are unchanged, however the Madrid regional tax schedule has been adjusted slightly. The region of Madrid has enacted a new reduction of regional tax for qualifying ‘large families’ (3 or more children), in the amount of 50% of the regional tax, up to EUR 12,000 for joint filers. The net effect is a small increase in social security for most taxpayers, and a large decrease in tax for families with 3 or more children. Other Spanish regions have also enacted smaller, and often income-tested, deductions for ‘large families’.

Separately, Madrid has also provided a new deduction for families that purchase a new primary residence as a result of a birth or adoption (within 3 years of the birth or adoption). The deduction is 1% of the acquisition price, up to EUR 1,500, for the year of purchase, and the subsequent nine years, subject to certain other requirements.


The tax system is determined by reference to the Tax Unit Value (TUV) and the Monthly Minimum Salary (MMS). These factors allow the tax system to keep pace with inflation and are used to set the tax brackets, lump-sum deduction, tax credits, and annual maximum contributions to social security. The most recent adjustment to the TUV was published May 8, 2023, increasing the TUV from VES 0.4 to VES 9 reflecting the hyperinflation in Venezuela. The 2023 MMS increased from VES 130 to VES 1,000. The net effect of these changes is an increase in social security contributions and a decrease in tax.

Research Location Update

Q.1 2023 Researched Locations and Upcoming Q.2 2023 Locations

AIRINC researches more than one hundred fifty locations each quarter.

Q.2 2023 Researched Locations
Q.3 2023 Upcoming Locations

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